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Factories stall worldwide, U.S. jobless claims rise

Factories stall worldwide, U.S. jobless claims rise
Reuters – 5 minutes ago
..By Ross Finley and Emily Kaiser

LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Manufacturing activity is contracting across Europe and most of Asia, data showed on Thursday, and a Chinese official declared that the world economy faces a worse situation than in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Factory activity shrank even further in the euro zone, reinforcing the view that the debt-strapped region is in recession, while British manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace in two years, raising the risk that the UK economy may suffer the same fate.

This has been the case for much of the developed world for several months, with the exception of pockets of better news from the United States. But the slowdown now appears to be spreading to economic powerhouses of the developing world.

Adding to the gloom, new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, popping above 400,000 for the first time in over a month and reinforcing the view that the battered labor market was healing only slowly.

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