World Economy May Dodge US Downturn

IMF predicts slide, but not the crisis it would have been 5 years ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 3:01 AM CST
Construction workers leave the China World Trade Center construction site in Beijing, China in this July 19, 2007 file photo. The world economy, buffeted by the credit crisis gripping financial markets,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The world economy will still catch a cold when America sneezes, but it won't be as bad as it would have been 5-10 years ago, the Washington Post reports. The International Monetary Fund predicts a 2008 global growth forecast of 4.1%—down from 4.9% last year—largely because of an expectation of a  US downturn. The impact could have been far worse, but American economic dominance has been diluted, leaving other economies better able to weather a US recession.

Europe, China, and the oil-rich Gulf states are playing a far bigger role. Five years ago, for instance, 33% of all Chinese exports went to the US; that number is down to 20% now. "Emerging markets are growing and crucial,"  an analyst notes. Some experts think the world's other economies may even be strong enough to help pull the US out of a slump.