- Slower Chinese GDP growth and a weaker currency mean that China is now forecast to overtake the US in 2029 compared with 2025 in last year’s forecasts.
- Japan has the weakest forecast growth of all major economies and is likely to be overtaken by both the UK and Germany during the 2030s.
- Germany’s population is likely to be over a million larger than we assumed last year because of migration, from Syria especially. As a result, its GDP is no longer likely to be overtaken by the UK by 2030, although we still expect this to happen during the following decade.
- India is now starting to catch up with China and will eventually overtake in the second half of the century.
- Korea is overtaking most of the European countries and will be one of the world’s top 5 economies at some point in the 2030s.
- Some of the weaker European economies like France and Italy are slipping way down the table. They face exclusion from bodies like the G-8 and possibly eventually the G-20 as their economies persistently underperform.
- Last year we forecast that Russia would do badly – the only thing we got wrong is that they have performed even worse than we assumed. They are likely to face a persistent decline down the league table and also face exclusion from the G-8.
- Oil and commodities based economies are forecast to do worse than we previously expected, though we have prepared these forecasts on the assumption that the oil price will revert to $60-70 during 2016 as the world economy recovers and the demand for oil revives.
- The world’s fastest growing region over the next 15 years is likely to be Central Asia. Its share of the global economy is forecast to have more than tripled since the start of the new millennium, from 2.8% in 2000 to 9.9% in 2030. The world’s slowest-growing region is likely to be Western Europe, with its share of the global economy falling by 42% over the same period. Several of its economies are expected to drop out of the world’s top 8 and top 20 economies which form the basis of the G-8 and G-20 clubs.
- Lower down the table there are some interesting movements. By 2030, Belarus, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Ethiopia will enter the top 60 world economies for the first time in the modern era.
- International bodies are likely to have to change their membership to reflect the changing balance of economic power. If relative GDP levels are the main criterion for membership of the G-8, by 2030 Italy, France and Russia are likely to be kicked out while India, Korea and Brazil force themselves in. For the G-20, Spain (which always ought to have been a member on economic grounds) and the Philippines should join while Argentina (falling to 38th in the league table) and South Africa are replaced. If it is politically necessary to include an African country it should be Nigeria (forecast in 2031 to be the world’s 25th largest economy) rather than South Africa (forecast to be the 40th largest).
- Tables showing this year’s rankings for the top 30 economies in the world in 2015, 2016 and in 2031 are shown in Annex 1 to this press release together with short notes on each of the countries forecast to be in the top 30 economies in 2031.
The latest edition of Cebr Global’s World Economic League Table (WELT) for 2016 reveals some interesting moves as the world’s richest powers jockey for position. Cebr Global is the international economics consultancy arm of Cebr, the economics consultancy.
The World Economic League Table tracks the size of different economies across the globe and projects changes over the next 15 years. We call the score on the current year and forecast future changes to 2031.
This year the main revisions reflect new forecasts for growth, exchange rates and oil and commodity prices rather than data changes as last year. With China slowing down more suddenly than had been expected, East Asian growth has been revised down. The weaker exchange rates in emerging markets have been reflected in lower forecasts for GDP for some of these countries.
To read the report in full please download below.