Global recession timeline

  • Bear Stearns collapses

    Bear Stearns collapses
    Investors are shocked when venerable investment bank Bear Stearns collapses under bad loans. It is the first evidence of a global liquidity crisis. But after JP Morgan snaps up its former rival for pennies on the dollar, fears of more turmoil to come are put on hold for several months.
  • Q1 2008

    Q1 2008
    Little evidence that an economic slowdown is looming. Leading economies in Canada, Germany, France, China and Japan all post quarterly GDP growth. The lone major exception? The United States, where the economy shrank by 0.7 per cent.
  • Q2 2008

    Q2 2008
    The U.S. economy rebounds from a poor first quarter, growing 1.5 per cent in the second. Dark clouds gather in Europe, however, as the export-driven German economy shrinks 0.5 per cent, and its neighbour France shrinks 0.6 per cent. In Asia, Japan posts a quarterly contraction of 0.6 per cent, while China shrugs off global concerns and posts its second-straight quarter of more than 10 per cent annualized growth.
  • Q3 2008

    Q3 2008
    The contagion spreads, and the stock market meltdown has already begun. The U.S slips below 0 to a 2.7 per cent contraction. Canada still keeps its head barely above water with 0.3 per cent growth. Europe is in ful recession mode as Germany (-0.3) and France (-0.2) post their second straight quarterly decline. China keeps expanding at a 9 per cent clip, while Japan enters its recession with a 0.3 per cent contraction.
  • Britain may enter recession, PM warns

    Britain may enter recession, PM warns
    Amid collapsing banks, and with housing and stock markets in freefall, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warns Britons that the country is likely to slide into recession in the near future.
  • Q4 2008

    Q4 2008
    The contraction picks up the pace in the U.S., with economic activity declining by 5.4 per cent in the world's largest economy. Canada posts its first quarterly contraction, at a little under 1 per cent. In Europe, the recession deepens, with the German economy contracting by 2.4 per cent and the French economy shrinking by 1.4 per cent. In Asia, China powers along, albeit at a slower rate, posting a 6.8 per cent increase. The Japanese contraction picks up dramatically, at 4.3 per cent.
  • Q1 2009

    Q1 2009
    With a 2.3 per cent GDP contraction, the recession is officially underway in Canada. Its southern neighbour fares worse, with a 6.4 per cent drop in economic activity. Germany's economy shrinks by 3.5 per cent, and France shrinks by 1.3 per cent. In Asia, China powers along at a more modest 6.1 per cent growth rate in GDP, and the Japanese economy tumbles into freefall, shrinking by 8.7 per cent in the quarter.
  • Q2, 2009

    Q2, 2009
    The U.S. economy improves, declining at only a 1 per cent annualized rate. Canada's outlook worsens, as GDP shrinks 3.2 per cent. In Europe's two largest economies, the recession officially ends, as Germany and France each post modest 0.3 per cent growth. In Asia, China improves upon its impressive growth, expanding by 7.9 per cent. While Japan's economy remains in a state of collapse, shrinking 6.4 per cent.
  • Australia avoids recession entirely?

    Australia avoids recession entirely?
    Isolated Australia appears to be one of the few economies to avoid going into recession altogther, with official data showing the country's economy expanded 0.6 per cent in the first half of 2009. Despite the impressive feat, Australian Prime Minister took a cautious tone, telling Australians the country's economy is "not out of the woods yet by a long stretch."
  • Bank of Canada takes upbeat tone

    Bank of Canada takes upbeat tone
    "We now expect the Canadian economy will contract by 2.3 per cent this year and then grow by 3.0 per cent in 2010 and 3.5 per cent in 2011," Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney says in July, becoming the first major voice to suggest the recession might be nearing an end.
  • EU ups forecast for European economy

    EU ups forecast for European economy
    The outlook in Europe improves somewhat, as the EU ups its forecast and predicts European GDP to decline by 4 per cent in 2009. That's still a contraction, but a marked improvement for what the body was predicting as recently as May.
  • Norway, Australia raise rates

    In October, Norway becomes the first European country to raise interest rates since the crisis began. It joins Australia and Israel as the world's only developed economies to have done so.
  • U.S. recession ends

    The U.S. economy expands at a 3.5 per cent pace in the third quarter, technically ending the recession. But the powerful economy is not out of the woods yet, as unemployment and the federal deficit continue to rise.
  • Recession ends in EU zone

    Recession ends in EU zone
    The The 16-country eurozone officially joined the United States and Japan in moving out of recession, after figures showed its economy grew by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter compared with the previous three-month period.