Global gross domestic product (GDP) growth could take a hit to the order of around one percent if tariff threats escalate into a trade war, S&P Global's chief economist forecast Monday.
It may not be a global recession, but "one could imagine a scenario where rather than global growth in the threes we have global growth in the twos, where you get the U.S. and Europe and China all pulling back at the same time," said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at analytics firm S&P Global, speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."
Global growth in 2017 was 3.7 percent and is projected at 3.8 percent this year and 3.9 percent in 2019, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That's nearly at the cruising speed of 4 percent reached before the financial crisis, and it's taken the world a decade to get here.
The OECD and the International Monetary Fund have both issued forecasts expressing confidence in global growth while highlighting a trade war as a major downside risk to their generally still-positive outlooks.
And S&P isn't the only entity to call such a figure: According to staff simulations by the European Central Bank, global growth could contract by up to 1 percent just in the first year after the tariff changes and world trade in goods could contract by up to 3 percent.