Below we highlight the country indices from the list in our last post that have seen the biggest increases and decreases in P/E ratios (trailing 12-month) in 2008. As shown, Bulgaria's P/E ratio has fallen the most of any other country this year, from 48.46 down to 6.22. China ranks second, with its P/E ratio falling from 44.28 to 14.55. A 14.55 trailing P/E for China is very low.
Just five countries of the 84 on our list have seen their P/E ratios actually increase this year. Unfortunately, the US is one of the five. During bear markets, P/Es usually contract because the price (P) of the index falls more than earnings (E). Since P/Es have increased (albeit slightly) in the US in 2008, it means earnings have fallen even more than price.