WEAKENING ASIA: A slew of gloomy economic reports from Asian nations show that Europe's debt crisis and the broader global downturn are taking a growing toll on the region even as governments respond with extra spending and lower lending rates.

THE REPORTS: Hong Kong and Singapore, both Asian financial centers that are highly exposed to global trade, reported weak second-quarter GDP Friday, the same day figures from China showed its trade slowing more sharply than forecast in July.

OTHER WEAKNESS Other reports this month from economies including India, South Korea and Taiwan underlined the challenges the export-reliant region is facing.