Regardless of whether China is the biggest economy in the world, it is of growing significance to the rest of Asia as a potential source of economic shocks. The old market maxim that when the United States sneezes, the world catches a cold is increasingly being rephrased. And with good reason, after many investors were left shaken by a first-quarter report that revealed Chinese gross domestic product growth at its weakest annualised rate since the global financial crisis and on course for its weakest year of expansion since 1990. Economists at BNP Paribas crunched the data immediately after April's surprise, going back 20 years to quantify the impact of a one percentage point fall in Chinese economic output on the rest of Asia, excluding Japan, over the following year. "China's slowing economy is raising concern about potential spillover effects beyond its shores, particularly on the rest of Asia through the trade, financial and commodity channels," they wrote in a note. "Economies with high trade exposure to Chinese final demand and commodity-producing countries are … more likely to catch a cold when China sneezes." The BNP Paribas team found on average that 0.7 percentage point was shaved from growth elsewhere, but with wide variation related to trade dependency. All of the nine economies it analysed have seen increased trade dependency to China since 2000, albeit to varying degrees. Singapore, which has seen exports to China as a share of GDP almost triple since 2000, would fare worst with as many as 1.6 percentage points cut from GDP growth. South Korea's hit would be smallest at 0.4 percentage point. Other analysts have taken an even more aggressive view as investors have fretted about the risk of a so-called "hard landing" for growth as China's economy slows in the face of faltering foreign demand for its exports at the same time as policymakers attempt to rebalance activity towards domestic, consumer-led demand. Moody's Analytics modelled a hard-landing scenario that saw Chinese GDP growth languishing at 3 per cent by the end of the next quarter, leaving growth about 5 percentage points short of its normal potential - what economists call an output gap. Again Singapore came out as the worst affected economy in the region, suffering an output gap as big as 10 per cent of the island nation's GDP. The Moody's analysis comes with plenty of caveats - not least that it sees only a 15 per cent chance of such a dire outcome. The rate of China's economic growth since the Moody's analysis is roughly flat to where it was and market expectations are that it will have stayed that way in the second quarter, expanding at the same pace as the first quarter's 7.4 per cent year-on-year rise. And that is likely to be the low point for this cycle. "China, for all the dire news earlier this year, has shown signs of stabilisation," said HSBC economist Frederic Neumann.