Even before the crisis in the banking sector, many countries had already been suffering.
Spain, for example, said to be on the brink of recession, has had some more bad news.
The number of people out of work rocketed to an 11-year high last month. It has the worst level in the euro zone at 11.3 per cent.
Unemployed Madrid resident Sonia said: “I’ve been unemployed for a long time. I’m managing because I’m receiving the unemployment benefit for the first time. I’m very stressed because I’m not used to it, and women need to be active.”
Construction has also stagnated and the housing market has imploded.
One business survey shows that consumer confidence has fallen to its second-lowest level on record.
And as for retail sales, figures are down for the eighth consecutive month.
One shopper in Madrid said: “In my job, for example, they are firing some people, so you notice it. There is less work, also in my company. There is less and less. Giving a CV to companies, there are less offers. It’s noticeable.”
The Spanish Prime Minister maintains his country’s problems are part of the wider global creduit crunch and economic stagnation.