The AP survey collected the views of private, corporate and academic economists on a range of issues. Most said they thought China’s slowdown posed a threat to countries that ship huge amounts of commodities — including iron ore and copper — to China. Among them, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia and Australia have already felt the sting.
Sun Wong Sohn, an economics professor at California State University’s Smith School of Business, estimated that each percentage point decline in China’s growth rate shaved about 0.3 percentage point from global growth.
Consumption accounts for only 55 percent of China’s growth, the government said last year. That compares with 70 percent in the United States. But if China’s government succeeds in its reforms, it could benefit U.S. companies by enabling more Chinese consumers to buy U.S. goods and services.
“It’s what we’ve been calling on them to do,” said Phillip Swagel, an economics professor at the University of Maryland and former Treasury Department official.
Among the economists’ other views that emerged from the AP survey:
— The United States would benefit from lifting a government ban on exporting crude oil and promoting more natural gas exports. Oil and gas drilling has boomed in recent years in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and other states, prompting oil companies to call for a lifting of the ban.
— U.S. economic growth and hiring will pick up in the second half of the year. The economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.1 percent from July through December, up from only 2.3 percent in the first half of the year. And the unemployment rate will fall to 6.2 percent by the end of this year, they forecast. The rate is now 6.7 percent.
— Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will manage the unwinding of the Fed’s stimulus programs without causing a surge in interest rates or panicking investors. Nearly three-quarters of the economists said they were “somewhat confident” in Yellen’s ability to do so. Six were “very confident.” Only two said they were “not confident at all.”