India to overtake France, UK as world’s 5th biggest economy next year

26 Dec 2017


India looks set to overtake Britain and France in 2018 to become the world's fifth-largest economy in dollar terms, according to a report today.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) consultancy's 2018 World Economic League Table showed an upbeat view of the global economy, boosted by cheap energy and technology prices.

The Cebr report predicts the UK will overhaul closest rival France by 2020 to retake sixth place when the effect of Brexit proves to be not as bad as feared.

But emerging giant India will overtake both Britain and France next year to become the world's fifth largest economy.

Judging on the trajectory set by this year's national performances, it projects that soaring Asian powerhouse India's ascent will push Britain down to seventh in the world league table in 2018, but only for two years.

The CEBR thinks Britain will hold sixth place once it regains it in 2020 for almost another decade.

Then another emerging 'BRIC' nation – Brazil – will overtake us in 2028.

India's spectacular climb will also see it overhaul Germany by 2027, meaning three out of the world's four largest economies will be Asian by then – the others being China, Japan and the US.

The think tank's senior economist Oliver Kolodseike said, ''The interesting trend emerging is that by 2032, five of the 10 largest economies will be in Asia while European economies are falling down the ranking and the USA loses its top spot.

''Technology and urbanisation will be important factors transforming the world economy over the next 15 years.''

India's rise is part of a trend that will see Asian economies increasingly dominate the top 10 largest economies over the next 15 years.

"India's economy has caught up with that of France and the UK and in 2018 will have overtaken them both to become the world's fifth largest economy in dollar terms," said Douglas McWilliams, Cebr deputy chairman.

McWilliams said India's growth had been slowed temporarily because of major economic reforms, including restrictions on high-value banknotes (demonetisation) and a new national sales tax (GST), a view shared by economists polled by Reuters.

China is likely to overtake the United States as the world's top economy in 2032, Cebr said.

"Because the impact of President Trump on trade has been less severe than expected, the US will retain its global crown a year longer than we anticipated in the last report," the report said.

Russia was vulnerable to low oil prices and too reliant on the energy sector, and looked likely to fall to 17th place among the world's largest economies by 2032, from 11th now.

A Reuters poll of economists in late October suggested global economic growth in 2018 looks likely to quicken slightly to 3.6 per cent from 3.5 per cent this year - with risks to that forecast lying on the upside.

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