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Toyota shuts plans due to crisis

Toyota Motor Corp, reeling from its worst U.S. sales decline in more than a quarter of a century, will shut all its factories in Japan for 11 days as the global economic slump hits demand and company profits.

The news from the world’s biggest auto maker shows how the global crisis, likened to the Great Depression of the 1930s in its scope and severity, has spread from the U.S. housing and banking sectors to threaten every part of the world economy. Governments and central banks have been working overtime to try to limit the fallout of the global crisis, flooding the financial system with cash, cutting interest rates and increasing spending.

South Korea said on Tuesday it aimed to create almost 142,000 jobs this year through infrastructure and environmental projects, part of a five-year, $38 billion plan to generate almost 1 million jobs.

Chile announced a $4 billion stimulus package based on public spending on infrastructure, subsidies and tax rebates.

“Facing this crisis will be the number one priority of my government this year,” said Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet.

China, which relies on strong growth to create jobs for its millions of migrant workers and graduates, risks a wave a protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state run magazine warned on Tuesday.

Researchers at the country’s central bank forecast China’s economy will probably grow by about 8 percent this year, in contrast to some analysts who predict a much sharper slowdown.

On Monday, U.S. President-elect Barack Obama met with Republicans and Democrats in Congress seeking support for a stimulus package of up to $775 billion over two years, including hefty tax cuts.

January 6, 2009 - Posted by | news

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