According to Bloomberg,
Not long ago, before the financial crisis and the global recession it triggered, economists referred to Americans as the consumers of last resort. When the U.S. grew at a healthy pace, its citizens were buyers, fueling demand for the goods China and other nations produced. They kept the world economy humming.
It may not work that way anymore, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its January issue. A rebounding U.S. is giving less support to global growth than in the past. Homegrown demand and production are more important drivers of the world’s biggest economy than they were a decade ago.
The smallest U.S. current-account deficit since 1999 shows the trend, and the discovery of new domestic sources of oil and gas reinforces it. Exploration and production are adding to growth, and the country is spending less on imported energy. Cheaper fuel and raw materials are boosting manufacturing as well, making the U.S. more of a competitor to emerging-markets nations and less a reliable consumer of their goods.
“Global growth is slowly becoming more of a zero-sum game,” says Manoj Pradhan, emerging-markets economist at Morgan Stanley in London and a former International Monetary Fund official. “U.S. growth is not reverting to the pre-crisis model, which created lift for everyone else.”
A 1 percentage point pickup in U.S. economic growth typically boosted expansion elsewhere by 0.4 percentage point, according to Gustavo Reis, senior international economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Now, he calculates, the benefit to other countries is moving toward 0.3 percentage point, adding $48 billion to the rest of the world economy instead of $64 billion.