World Economy

Rogoff: China is the biggest threat to the global economy right now

Economist calls China the biggest threat to global economy

A slowdown in China is the greatest threat to the global economy, Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University, told the BBC in an interview published on Monday.

"I think the economy is slowing down much more than the official figures show," Rogoff, who is a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told the U.K. broadcaster. He added that China is going through a "big political revolution," hinting at Beijing's high-profile campaign to tackle corruption and transition its economy to being more consumer led.

"If you want to look at a part of the world that has a debt problem, look at China. They've seen credit fueled growth and these things don't go on forever," he said.

IMF marks down global growth ... again

China, the biggest economic story of the last 30 years, has soured in the eyes of many analysts, with a stock market crash that began in the country last summer highlighting the difficulties facing Chinese lawmakers. Billionaire financier George Soros has warned several times on the country, stating that China's debt-fueled growth bears an "eerie resemblance" to the conditions leading up to the 2008 financial crash.

After years of triple-digit growth, the economy is slowing and the IMF expects China's GDP (gross domestic product) to grow by 6.6 percent this year. Rogoff said the country's economy was having a "pretty sharp landing already," adding that he was worried about China becoming "more of a problem."

"We've taken it for granted that whatever Europe's doing, Japan's doing - at least China's moving along and there isn't really a substitute for China," he told the BBC.

"I think India may come along some day but it's fallen so far behind in size it's not going to compensate."

Read the full interview on the BBC's website here.

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