December 11, 2008

International trade headed for a fall

The effects of stalled consumer spending in developed nations has rippled to developing countries, like China, that depend on a strong export market.

With consumer spending down in the United States, China said two-thirds of its toy exporting companies closed January through September, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

China said Wednesday its export total in November fell faster than in any month since 2001.

The drop in international trade can also be measured in freight fees.

While toys and other goods pile up in Chinese warehouses, freight lines have cut shipping rates as much as 90 percent, the Post reported.

As the recessionary cycle rolls around, U.S. manufacturers who were relying on strong sales in emerging markets -- Boeing and Caterpillar, for example -- are also being impacted.

The World Bank has predicted global trade will slide by 2.1 percent in 2009, the first downturn in international trade since 1982, the newspaper said.