Economy

Germany and China Both Flirt With Recession

Douglas A. McIntyre

The news about the German economy for the fourth quarter was bad. The German Statistics Office said fourth-quarter growth was stagnant. The world’s fourth-largest nation, as measured by gross domestic product, has flirted with recession for several quarters. In China, the spread of coronavirus could trim a percentage point off GDP for the year and cripple growth completely in the first quarter.

So far, many economists have said the American economy can dodge the carnage. That seems less and less likely, with large parts of the global economy in deep trouble. No matter what the argument, Germany and China are massive trade partners.

The U.S. economy is forecast to grow about 2.5%, according to the International Monetary Fund. The White House puts that number at 3%, which is currently unattainable. If GDP in the developed nations and China stall at the same time, the American economy may post growth barely above 1% in the first quarter of this year.

A recession already has started to spread. At this point, there is no containing it.