*I remember last year when IMF was insisting we were not in a worldwide recession..
Recession to hit harder than IMF projected, OECD says
The worldwide recession will become more severe than forecast by the International Monetary Fund last month, said Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, chief economist of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. "The recession will deepen ... there's no doubt," he said. "I think this quarter will be the worst quarter of all." Reuters (03 Mar.)
*and what was that about Australia not raising their interest rates..
Analysts: Australia's GDP contraction hints at recession
The 0.5% decline in Australia's GDP in the last quarter of 2008 almost certainly marks the beginning of a recession, analysts said. The drop is unlikely to be reversed in upcoming quarters. "This is inevitably the first quarter of Australia's recession," said Matt Robinson of Moody's Economy.com. The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (04 Mar.)
Leader predicts "long, hard crisis" for French economy
The economy of France, the world's sixth-largest, will likely contract by as much as 1.5% this year, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon warned. Although the figure is "less bad than in most other European countries," he said, the downturn is expected increase unemployment by about 300,000 and push France's budget deficit up to 5% of GDP, in violation of the EU's 3% limit for eurozone members. The Sun (Baltimore)/The Associated Press (free registration) (03 Mar.)
Venezuela's revolution collides with reality of oil price
Since the price of oil started sliding, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has argued that the decrease would leave his programs untouched -- until now. Speaking at a military parade, Chavez conceded that the falling oil revenue is "tough and difficult," but he said there will be no reduction in spending for basic needs such as food, housing, education and health care. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (03 Mar.)