The UK will surpass both Germany and Japan in the next two decades to become the fourth-largest economy in the world, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has predicted. The CEBR report also released a future world economic league table.
"The UK's strength is its cultural diversity and its strong position in software and IT applications. [The UK] is likely to overtake Germany and Japan during the 2030s," the report said.
A weak Japanese economy, which slid back into recession for the fifth time in seven years, and an ageing population in Germany will push both these countries down the league table, while both the UK and India will rise, the group predicted. Other predictions include:
- China, which is the world's second-largest economy, won't be able to surpass the US till 2029 because of its economic slowdown. This is four years later than the CEBR's previous forecast.
- By 2030, unless growth picks up, Italy and France will not make it to the top eight as South Korea and Brazil advance.
- By the late 2030s, Japan would have dropped to sixth place, from the current third, as it is expected to be "one of the worst of the developed nations as a declining population, slow productivity growth and a weaker exchange rate take their toll".
- The UK, which overtook France in 2014 to occupy the fifth position in dollar terms, will be pushed to sixth place by 2025 due to India's rapid growth. However, from 2025, it will attain solid growth to overtake both Germany and Japan.
- The fastest-growing region in the world over the next 15 years will be Central Asia.
- The slowest-growing region in the world over the next 15 years will be western Europe.
- Central Asia's share of global economy is forecast to more than triple this millennium — from 2.8% in 2000 to 9.9% in 2030
The CEBR report also hinted at a different global economy that may lead to power struggles at a diplomatic level. The shift in power could also see an impact on the G20 and G8 policy forums which "are likely to have to change their membership to reflect the changing balance of economic power", according to The Times.