Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Daniel Moss

We're One Mistake Away From a Global Recession

Over the past decade, central banks have worked together to boost growth. Too bad China and the U.S. aren’t feeling very cooperative anymore.

Let’s not do this again.

Let’s not do this again.

Photographer: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Here's the silver lining to slowing world growth: We are a long way from 2009, when the global economy contracted. The bad news is that this balancing act is looking increasingly shaky. 

The International Monetary Fund this week cut its forecast for global gross domestic product to 3% in 2019 and 3.4% next year. That's the weakest outlook in a decade, and down slightly from the lender's projections in July. (The IMF views a pace of less than 2.5% a recession.) So while that’s not exactly rosy, comparing these numbers with the disaster of 2009, when GDP fell 0.1%, is very wide of the mark. The IMF also trimmed its outlook for China, which helped revive world growth after the past two slumps.