CHINA, an ancient civilisation, is still in its economic adolescence, a phase marked by growth spurts and mood swings. Other emerging economies endure this awkward period in relative obscurity, attracting only cursory attention. China has no such luck. It has become big before becoming rich, inviting scrutiny typically reserved for mature economies.
A hard landing would hobble South Korea and bring Taiwan’s growth to a shuddering halt. But growth in Brazil and Australia would hold up surprisingly well, perhaps because their currencies would fall, absorbing some of the shock. However, these estimates capture only the direct impact of a Chinese slowdown, as transmitted through its trade links. Messrs Ahuja and Nabar point out that stockmarkets around the world would also swoon. And some countries would be hit by indirect effects: Germany, for example, would suffer both a loss of exports to China and to countries that sell a lot to China. Adolescents have an uncanny ability to spoil things for everybody.