WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund's latest global economic forecast makes for unhappy reading.
You may remember that, some years back, it was fashionable to ask whether the world economy could continue "flying on one engine" - meaning the United States.
America's boom and import appetite boosted other economies.
After the U.S. crash in 2008, the role of global engine shifted to the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other "emerging market" nations.
Their strong growth offset some weakness in America, Europe and Japan. The new world helped rescue the old.
Well, you can forget that. There is no engine anymore.
The IMF report confirms what's been increasingly obvious: Many emerging-market countries - led by China - have stumbled.
By our lights, their growth rates remain high because they have huge labor forces and haven't exploited all existing technologies.
But the declines are sizable and could get worse.
From 2005 to 2011, China's annual growth averaged almost 11 percent; in 2013, the IMF expects 7.8 percent.
For India, the IMF forecasts 5.6 percent this year, down from a 2005-11 average of 8.4 percent. Brazil has also decelerated.
Ironically, the major economy that looks the strongest is that of the United States.
True, the U.S. isn't robust. But compared with slowdowns elsewhere, it doesn't look so bad.
The American recovery has continued for four years and, if anything, may strengthen in 2014 (growth up to 2.7 percent from 1.7 percent in 2013).
By contrast, the eurozone - the 17 countries using the euro - is in its second year of recession, and now the BRICs are faltering.
In a healthy global economy, countries' growth is mutually reinforcing. International trade and investment expand.
But the process can also work in reverse. Sluggish growth and slumps feed on each other.
China's slowdown lowers its demand for basic commodities (iron ore, soybeans, copper), which hurts Latin American and African suppliers.
Europe's recession weakens the United States and China, which are big exporters to Europe. And so on.
Whether this gets worse is unclear. But the outlook has darkened recently, as Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, noted at a news briefing.