President Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29. (Susan Walsh/AP)

August 15 at 9:36 AM

Nine major economies around the world are in recession or on the verge of one, raising fears that a global economic slowdown could help tip the United States into an economic contraction as well.

The ugly stock market drop Wednesday began after bad news from two of the world’s largest economies. China reported the worst manufacturing output in 17 years, and Germany said that its economy actually shrank in the spring.

The Dow plunged more than 800 points as investors feared a recession following poor economic data from Germany and China. (Reuters)

Many of the countries slowing down or in recession have a common problem: They are heavily dependent on selling goods overseas. And this is not a good time to have an export-driven economy. China’s slump and President Trump’s trade war are undercutting the global exchange of goods that had helped power the global economy for decades, and some of these countries are seeing sharp declines in exports.

In other nations, notably Argentina and Russia, long-standing problems at home are bubbling over at a moment when global investors are skittish and quick to bolt, which exacerbates trouble.