(Correctly measured, quarter-to-quarter) Chinese economic growth in final quarter 2008 was zero or negative. The US economy shrunk at an annual rate of 6.2%. The Japanese economy is shrinking at 12.7% annually with exports falling 45% on a year ago. European data suggests a more severe contraction there than in the US - although that claim was made before recent downward revisions in final quarter US growth. Italy and Britain are two of the worst performing countries though Germany - the world's biggest exporter - is taking a hammering though the contraction in world trade.
The Australian quarterly figures will be released March 4 - there is some optimism that positive growth will be sustained. Difficult to believe but good news if it proves so.
The 'wobbliest' emerging economies in terms of their potential exposure to financial contagion are claimed by The Economist to be South Africa, Pakistan and Poland. The Asian countries - apart from South Korea - look reasonably safe as does China but the smaller European countries are exposed.