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Boxlines braced as US recession made official

Boxlines braced as US recession made official

Singapore: Containerlines across Asia are braced for a tough day's trading at local bourses today following the news overnight that the US has entered recession. Overnight, news that the US is officially in recession saw stocks on Wall Street plunge.

The Dow Jones Index lost nearly 8 per cent and the Nasdaq and Standard and Poor's indices fell even more.

The U.S. economy has been in a recession for a year, the nation's business cycle arbiter declared on Monday.

Alarming for box lines is the economic data just out showing factories were slashing output in the United States, Europe and China last month as demand dropped.

China's manufacturing sector slumped in November as new orders tumbled, showing the world's fourth-largest economy was being sucked deeper into the global maelstrom.

Back in the US hopes that consumers may ride to the rescue appeared to be optimistic. U.S. post-Thanksgiving sales, which mark the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, looked less dire than feared but that did not stop investors from dumping shares of retailers. Analysts warned that while stores were crowded, the sales growth may have come at the expense of profits and overall demand remained weak.  The transpacific has been torrid for containerlines this year and next May's annual rate negotiations already look bloody in prospect. [2/12/08]