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China's exports and imports fall; Semiconductor sales expected to drop; Severe slump in lumber industry; Generic-drug prices decline; Oil drilling down by 12 percent

China's exports and imports fallChina’s exports have hit a wall, with overseas shipments falling 2.2 percent in November, after having risen 19.2 percent in October. China’s imports also fell, by 17.9 percent, clobbering raw-materials suppliers, including the U.S. Los Angeles Times

Semiconductor sales expected to dropSemiconductor sales will fall this year, to an estimated $262 billion, reports Gartner Group. The 4.4 percent decline is only the fifth drop in annual chip sales since 1985.Marketwatch.com

Severe slump in lumber industryThe Pacific Northwest’s lumber industry is in the midst of its deepest slump ever. Timber prices have plunged nearly 50 percent since 2005, and lumber industry employment has fallen 12 percent or more in some timber-producing states.USA Today

Generic-drug prices declineGeneric-drug prices fell 2.7 percent in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, while the number of prescriptions filled generically grew 5.4 percent in the same period. Pricing pressure from Wal-Mart and other big retailers drove the decline.Associated Press

Oil drilling down by 12 percentWith oil and gas prices falling, drilling activity in the U.S. last month was down 12 percent from September. There are now 1,790 active drilling rigs in the U.S., and analysts predict that several hundred will fall idle soon—which would leave fewer rigs running than at any time since 2003. The Wall Street Journal

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