1 Cebr s World Economic League Table 26 December 2013
2 2 Contents 1 Summary 4 Key Points 4 2 The outlook by country 6 The US 6 China 6 Japan 6 Germany 6 France 7 The UK 7 Brazil 7 Italy 7 Russia 7 India 8 Canada 8 Australia 8 Spain 8 Mexico 8 Korea 8 Indonesia 8 Turkey 9 Netherlands 9 Saudi Arabia 9 Switzerland 9 Iran 9 Sweden 9 Norway 10 Poland 10 Belgium 10 Argentina 10 Taiwan 10 South Africa 10 Austria 10 UAE 11
3 3 Thailand 11 Egypt 11 Hong Kong SAR 11 Nigeria 11 Iraq 11 Philippines 12 Annex Detailed Tables for GDP by Country in $ billions 12
4 4 1 Summary Welcome to the 2013 edition of Cebr s World Economic League Table. In this year s report we again estimate the world GDP league table for the top 30 countries for 2013 and project this forward. Whereas in previous years we projected forward only for ten years ahead, this year we project five, ten and fifteen years ahead ending in Significant developments which have affected our predictions this year include: The emerging market currency sell off in mid-2013 The revised views about the future of commodity prices Substantially revised views about the future of energy prices. We advise users of this information to interpret the predictions with caution. The forecasts involve three elements for each country a real GDP growth forecast, an inflation forecast and a currency forecast. While the first two are likely to be accurate on an annual basis to within 1% or in some cases 2%, currencies have a way of fairly wildly defying forecasters predictions. The majority of the megatrends incorporated in these forecasts are well established and, while the precise years in which changes of position are likely to take place can move backwards and forwards by as much as five to ten years, the directions of change are well established. But there are some views that can be revised much more dramatically the outlook for Iran has adjusted remarkably for example and this is even after allowing for the relaxation of sanctions that seems to have been agreed. The outlook for other Middle Eastern economies has been affected significantly by the increased instability in the region in addition to the revised outlook for energy prices. One of the useful results of this analysis is that it encourages governments to examine their comparative economic performance. As those who will have noted the past revisions will realise, the results here are not written in tablets of stone and changed economic policies stimulated by the analysis set out here may well mean that our rankings in future years will have to be revised again. If the measurement of performance set out here encourages governments to focus on achieving economic success and discourages them from populist gestures that make their economies less productive, we will feel satisfied that our analysis has had a beneficial effect. Key Points For a long time Cebr has predicted that China would overtake the US to become the world s largest economy. But our previous forecasts which looked out to 2022 did not give a date for this. Our latest forecasts now show China overtaking the US in 2028 to become the world s largest economy. This is later than some analysts have suggested and reflects the continuing performance of the US as the West s strongest economy and the slowing down of the Chinese economy. India overtakes Japan in 2028 to become the world s third largest economy. As it will still then only be a fifth of the size of the next largest economy, it is unlikely to change positions again for a very long time despite favourable demographics and growth.
5 5 Brazil overtook the UK in 2011 to become briefly the world s 6 th largest economy. But it has since fallen back and does not overtake again until 2023 when it overtakes both the UK and Germany to become the world s fifth largest economy. In 2014, while the Football World Cup is held in Brazil, it still looks likely that Britain beat Brazil at something by still having a larger economy! The UK is the West s second best performing economy. Indeed it is the only major Western economy expected to move up the league table (temporarily) becoming the world s 5 th largest economy in 2018 by overtaking France. After that it slips back to 7 th place in 2023 and 2028 as India and Brazil overtake. But by 2028 the UK economy is forecast to be only 3% smaller than the German economy and is likely to overtake Germany to become the largest Western European economy around Slow growth, a weakening currency and for some countries adverse demographic dynamics hit the European economies. We make the forecasting assumption that the Euro holds together for these forecasts. If the Euro breaks up, the outlook for Germany would be much better and the outlook for the other European economies correspondingly worse. On the assumption that the Euro holds, Germany drops from the 4th largest economy in 2013 to the 6 th largest in 2023 and For France the drop is even more precipitous from 5 th in 2013, to 8 th in 2018, to 10 th in 2023, and to 13 th in Similarly, Italy drops from 8 th in 2013 to 15 th in 2028 and Spain from 13 th in 2013 to 18 th in shows only two changes in the top 20 economies Russia overtakes recession stricken Italy to gain 8 th place and Canada overtakes India as a result of the collapse of the rupee to retake its position as the second largest economy in the Commonwealth and the 10 th largest economy in the world. Below the top 20 some of the changes are more dramatic Iran drops from 21 st position to 30 th as sanctions bite; South Africa drops from 28 th out of the top thirty (to 33 rd ) as strikes, slow growth and a weakening currency affect its position. By 2018 the emerging economies are on the move. Russia is up to a high point of 6 th ; India 9 th, Mexico 12 th, Korea 13 th and Turkey 17 th. Thailand (provided that political stability returns) gets into the top 30 at 27 th. By 2023 India and Brazil are on the march. India is up to 4 th, Brazil to 5 th. Taiwan breaks into the top 20 at 19 th. By 2028 the league table is being reordered. China has moved to No 1; India to No 3. Mexico is in the top ten at No 9. Korea and Turkey are 11 th and 12 th and have overtaken France. As symbols of the new world order, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq and the Philippines break into the top 30. All the latter group depend on maintaining or in some cases regaining political stability.
6 6 2 The outlook by country The US While the US eventually is forecast to lose its position as the world s largest economy, it is forecast to remain successful for a long time. Indeed, the point at which China is expected to overtake because of its much larger population keeps moving back we now forecast that this will not happen until 2028 rather later than many other commentators. Even after losing the No 1 spot, the US is expected to remain the world s most successful economy from most points of view and is predicted to be the most successful Western economy. Cheap energy and strong business investment and innovation are key. China China s spectacular economic development has continued and although the increasing maturity of its economy and relatively unfavourable demographics mean that growth will inevitably slow, we still expect China to overtake the US to become the world s largest economy in 2028 for the first time since This will reflect not only stronger economic growth than in the Western economies but also the continuing rise of the RMB. Japan The Abenomics policy of printing money to achieve economic growth is likely to be successful in Japan but the weaker Yen implied by the policy is likely bring Japan s position down in money GDP terms. In addition Japan s demographics are uniquely unfavourable and the combination leads to Japan losing its position as the world s 3 rd largest economy to India in 2028 Germany Theoretically Germany should continue to perform well in future years. However, on the assumption that the Euro does not break up, a combination of weak European economic growth, a depreciating currency, the requirement to bail out ailing economies in the rest of the Eurozone and increasingly adverse population trends mean that in this forecast Germany eventually slips down the league table. Indeed, Germany is forecast to lose its position as the largest Western European economy to the UK around 2030 because of the UK s faster population growth and lesser dependence on the other European economies. If the Euro were to break up, Germany s outlook would be much better. A Deutsche Mark based Germany certainly would not be overtaken by the UK for many years if ever. 1 The Madison Historical Statistics from the Groningen Growth and Development Centre, Groningen University
7 7 France France is forecast to be one of the worst performing of the Western economies, slipping gradually down the league table from 5 th place in 2013 to 13 th place by Slow growth, driven by high taxation is likely to be the key problem. In addition, France has its share of Eurozone-related problems from weak export markets to a depreciating currency. The UK The UK is forecast to be the second most successful of the Western economies after the US. Positive demographics with continuing immigration, rather less exposure to the problems of the Eurozone than other European economies combine with relatively low taxes by European standards to encourage faster growth than in most Western economies. Issues for the UK include the need further to reorient its exports to the faster growing markets, an unresolved relationship with the rest of the EU and the possibility of breakup highlighted by the referendum on Scottish independence in September If its problems can be avoided, the UK is forecast actually to gain a place in the league table by 2018, overtaking France though post 2018 it is likely to be overtaken by the much more populous economies of India and Brazil. But by 2029 the UK will almost have caught up with Germany and we still forecast that the UK will overtake Germany to be the largest Western European economy around The factors driving the UK s overtaking Germany are the assumption of a falling value for the Euro, Germany s falling population and the UK s rising population. Brazil Brazil briefly overtook the UK to become the world s sixth largest economy in 2011 but has since languished as growth has slowed, the currency has weakened and political tensions have emerged. We see Brazil eventually overtaking the UK and Germany to become the world s 5 th largest economy by 2023, driven by favourable demographics and strong agricultural trade boosted by the Doha round agreement and by genetically modified foods. Italy Italy seems likely to demonstrate Europe s gradual decline in economic importance by dropping from 8 th position in 2013 to 15 th in 2028, being overtaken by economies like Mexico, Canada, Turkey, Korea and Australia. Russia Our downward revision of energy prices mean that the Russian outlook is now much less favourable than had once appeared to be the case. As a result, although Russia reaches the heights of 6 th place in 2018, in 2023 and 2028 it has fallen back to 8 th place.
8 8 India The weakness of the rupee has meant that India actually lost a place in the league table in 2013 to Canada. But demographics and economic growth will eventually drive the Indian economy up the table and the forecast for 2028 has India becoming the world s 3 rd largest economy overtaking Japan. Canada The Canadian economy with its mix of high tech production and successful extractive industries is forecast to continue to do well. Canada overtook India in 2013 to become the world s 10 th largest economy and is forecast to overtake Italy by 2023 to become the 9 th largest economy before being itself overtaken by Mexico by Australia The Australian economy is predicted to slip back in the table from 12 th position in 2013 to 14 th in 2018 as Mexico and Korea overtake. Spain The Spanish economy is forecast to slip down the table from 13 th to 18 th place in conjunction with most other Western European economies. Spain is gradually overtaken by a range of emerging economies. Given their historic relationship, the growth of Mexico currently roughly the same size as the Spanish economy - to an economy about 2½ times the size of the Spanish economy by 2028 is likely to focus attention. Mexico The Mexican economy is forecast to continue to move up the league table from its current 14 th place into the top ten, reaching 9 th place in This is likely to reflect the continuing success of the US economy and the position of Mexico in providing cost effective production for the US market. Korea Despite the ever present threat from North Korea, the South Korean economy continues to prosper and move up the world league table as Korean companies establish themselves as international brands in the same way as the leading Japanese companies in earlier years. Korea is forecast to move up from 15 th to 11 th place in the league table by 2028 as Korean living standards converge with Western levels. Indonesia The Indonesian economy is predicted to remain in 16 th position reflecting our more pessimistic outlook for demand for energy and commodities than in last year s WELT (which had Indonesia reaching 10 th
9 9 place in 2022). The new government elected in 2014 will have the opportunity to improve on the current outlook if it enacts economic policies that support economic growth. Turkey The Turkish economy is predicted to rise from 17 th position this year to 12 th in 2028, based on its access to the Western European markets while its labour costs remain relatively low. Favourable demographics also help fuel the economic growth. However, the Turkish outlook does depend on political stability and continued disturbances of the kind seen in 2013 could discourage investment and hence growth. Netherlands On the face of it, the fall in the position of the Dutch economy from the world s 18 th largest in 2012 to the world s 30 th largest by 2028 is one of the most precipitous falls in the table. But this is misleading all European economies fall back relatively and the Dutch economy only loses position because of the large number of emerging economies that previously had had GDP levels close to those in the Netherlands. However, the underlying fact is that although the Dutch economy is doing very well by Eurozone standards, its performance is held back by the performance of the other European economies. As with Germany, a guilder based Netherlands would be likely to perform rather better. Saudi Arabia The outlook for the Saudi economy is heavily based on the outlook for oil. Saudi Arabia edges up one position from 19 th in 2013 to 18 th in 2018 and 2023 but slips back to 19 th again in 2028 as energy prices are forecast to slacken. Switzerland Despite its pro-growth economic culture, Switzerland is likely to drop back from 20 th place in 2013 to 23 rd in This reflects the faster growth in the emerging economies. Iran Iran fell from 21 st position in 2012 to 30 th in 2013 and is forecast to drop out of the top thirty table altogether by 2018 (actually falling back to 55 th place by 2028). This is despite some allowance for an economic recovery if sanctions are relaxed. Sweden Sweden has been one of the best performing European economies in recent years. Despite this Sweden drops back from 22 nd position in 2012 to 26 th in 2028 as faster growing emerging economies overtake.
10 10 Norway Norway is forecast to drop from 23 rd position in 2012 to 34 th in 2028 as energy prices weaken and production falls back. Poland Poland is forecast to rise from 24 th position in 2012 to 20 th in 2028 as continued economic development and rising living standards raise GDP per capita into line with Western European levels. Belgium Belgium s fall from 25 th position in 2012 to 33 rd in 2028 reflects the falling back of the other Western European economies. Argentina Argentina is predicted to fall back from 26 th position in 2012 to 29 th in 2028 as the consequences of consistently bad economic management catch up. Within Latin America, Argentina is forecast to fall back relative to Brazil and Mexico and to be temporarily overtaken by Colombia in 2018 and 2023 although on the assumption of economic reforms Argentina overtakes again in Taiwan Taiwan is forecast to rise from 27 th position in 2012 to 17 th in 2028 in line with the strong economic performance of most other states in East Asia. South Africa South Africa fell back from 29 th place in 2012 to 33 rd place in 2013 as strikes, declining industrial confidence and weakening prices for commodities started to impact. The position is forecast to continue to deteriorate to 38% place by 2028, by which time the Nigerian economy is likely to be about a third larger and by then by far the largest sub-saharan African economy. Austria The Austrian economy is forecast to drop back from 27 th position in 2013 to 37 th in 2028, reflecting the more general decline of the Western European economies.
11 11 UAE The UAE rose from 30 th position in 2012 to 29 th in 2013 on the back of rising oil production and an economic recovery in the property sector. But post 2018 the country is likely to fall back to 37 th position in 2023 and 39 th in 2028 as the consequences of weaker energy prices, lack of skills and education and failure to diversify start to emerge. Thailand Thailand s flood affected economy was only in 33 rd position in 2012 but bounced back to 28 th in Provided political stability can be achieved, the economy is likely to share in the growth in South East Asia and is forecast to rise to the 21 st position by Egypt Political instability has held back the Egyptian economy in 44 th position in Provided political stability re-emerges, favourable demographics should boost growth and lead to a recovery to 22 nd position by Hong Kong SAR The Hong Kong economy has for long been one of the world s most impressive economic performers. It now has the world s highest life expectancy. The internationalisation of the RMB and its impact on the Hong Kong financial service sector should see it rise from 39 th position in 2013 to 24 th in Direct election of the Chief Executive in 2017 might threaten Hong Kong s ability to maintain its lack of a welfare state which in turn has permitted very low tax rates. This is the main potential threat to Hong Kong s growth. Nigeria Nigeria is predicted to overtake South Africa as Sub Saharan Africa s largest economy in 2020 and to rise from 36 th position in the league table in 2013 to 25 th in Favourable demographics are the main driving force. The main risk is political instability and violence which will deter investment. Iraq Iraq is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East. In 2013 it was 47 th in the league table but is forecast to rise to 27 th in 2028 on the back of rising energy production and despite the softening of prices that is predicted. All this of course depends on achieving a degree of political stability and a reduction in violence so that investment can be sustained.
12 12 Philippines The Philippines economy is currently affected by the aftermath of the typhoon which has impacted on production, especially in agriculture. But it is expected to recover in 2014 and Meanwhile, the improved outlook for the US economy is important for the Philippines, which has much closer economic links with the US than other ASEAN economies. We forecast that the Philippines will rise gradually from 42 nd position in 2012 to 28th in 2028.
13 13 Annex Detailed League Tables for GDP Billions of US Dollars))) 2012 Rank Country GDP 1 United States 16,245 2 China 8,221 3 Japan 5,960 4 Germany 3,430 5 France 2,614 6 United Kingdom 2,477 7 Brazil 2,253 8 Italy 2,078 9 Russia 2, India 1, Canada 1, Australia 1, Spain 1, Mexico 1, Korea 1, Indonesia Turkey Netherlands Saudi Arabia Switzerland Islamic Republic of Iran Sweden Norway Poland Belgium Argentina Taiwan Province of China Austria South Africa United Arab Emirates 384
14 Rank Country GDP 1 United States 16,724 2 China 8,939 3 Japan 5,007 4 Germany 3,593 5 France 2,739 6 United Kingdom 2,649 7 Brazil 2,190 8 Russia 2,118 9 Italy 2, Canada 1, India 1, Australia 1, Spain 1, Mexico 1, Korea 1, Indonesia Turkey Netherlands Saudi Arabia Switzerland Sweden Norway Poland Belgium Taiwan Province of China Argentina Austria Thailand United Arab Emirates Islamic Republic of Iran 389
15 Rank Country GDP 1 United States 21,556 2 China 14,334 3 Japan 5,827 4 Germany 3,435 5 United Kingdom 3,108 6 Russia 2,923 7 Brazil 2,730 8 France 2,696 9 India 2, Italy 2, Canada 2, Mexico 1, Korea 1, Australia 1, Turkey 1, Spain 1, Indonesia 1, Saudi Arabia Netherlands Switzerland Taiwan Province of China Poland Sweden Belgium Norway Argentina Thailand Austria Colombia United Arab Emirates 468
16 Rank Country GDP 1 United States 26,693 2 China 21,956 3 Japan 6,076 4 India 4,124 5 Brazil 3,764 6 Germany 3,708 7 United Kingdom 3,658 8 Russia 3,613 9 Canada 2, France 2, Italy 2, Mexico 2, Korea 2, Australia 2, Turkey 2, Indonesia 1, Spain 1, Saudi Arabia 1, Taiwan Province of China Poland Switzerland Thailand Netherlands Sweden Belgium Argentina Norway Egypt Colombia Austria 648
17 Rank Country GDP 1 China 33,513 2 United States 32,241 3 India 6,560 4 Japan 6,415 5 Brazil 5,143 6 Germany 4,398 7 United Kingdom 4,305 8 Russia 4,125 9 Mexico 3, Canada 3, Korea 3, Turkey 3, France 3, Australia 3, Italy 2, Indonesia 2, Taiwan Province of China 1, Spain 1, Saudi Arabia 1, Poland 1, Thailand 1, Egypt 1, Switzerland 1, Hong Kong SAR Nigeria Sweden Iraq Philippines Argentina Netherlands 888