Ireland spain britain

Western Europe's economies in epic decline

The headlines today are filled with reports of how America's economy declined by a 6.1% annual rate in the first quarter. Far worse than expected.

But that's nothing compared to Ireland's economy, which is shrinking at a rate no industrialized nation has seen since the Great Depression.

(Bloomberg) -- Ireland’s economy may shrink almost 12 percent in the three years through 2010, the biggest decline of any industrialized country since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the country’s Economic & Social Research Institute said.

Gross domestic product may decline 8.3 percent this year, the Dublin-based institute said in its quarterly report today, more than double the contraction it forecast in December.