China, according to Citi chief economist Willem Buiter, could be the proximate cause of a global recession in the not-too-distant future.
As Chinese policymakers attempt to shift to growth driven by domestic demand, rather than credit-fueled infrastructure binges, the effects of this reorganization are reverberating around the world.
The much-discussed slowdown in global trade is in large part attributable to the lower values of commodity prices — themselves partially a function a Chinese demand — but also linked to the shifts underway in the world's second-largest economy.
Trade figures for the month of August showed exports down 5.5 percent year over year while imports slumped by 13.8 percent.
Michael McDonough, chief economist for Bloomberg Intelligence, compiled this chart to show what's happening with Chinese trade partners all around the world. The left column in particular shows how much less China is importing from key countries: