China’s stimulus plan helped the U.S. far more than President Obama’s bloated scheme in 2009. China really did launch “shovel-ready” projects, and firms like Caterpillar and United Technologies grabbed export orders.
But now China’s GDP is skidding. Is there a good side to this slide? Yes. It is crushing commodity prices (20% below April levels). That means U.S. consumers will pay less for gas and have more left to spend at department stores. I expect Walmart to report stronger Halloween shopping with oil at $77 a barrel, instead of $100. Crashing copper prices will slash prices for pipes, while cheaper coffee beans boost Starbucks. Cheaper corn helps cattle-ranchers — and even Halloween decorators!