Post-Brexit Britain to leapfrog France in world economic rankings - think tank

The effects of Britain leaving the EU are "less than feared" and the country's economy will surpass France by the end of the decade, a report has said.

The World Economic League Table from think tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), published on Tuesday, forecast a period of stronger growth than we have seen for
the past five years "driven by cheap energy and by technology".

India will leapfrog Britain and France to become the world's fifth largest economy in dollar terms in 2018, the report said.

Other predictions include China overtaking the USA to become the world's largest dollar economy in 2030, a year later than previously forecast as the impact of president Trump on trade has been less severe than expected, and Brazil will overtake France and the UK and become the sixth largest economy by 2028.

On Brexit, the report said: "A year ago we feared that Brexit would have a significant transitional effect on the UK economy that would leave it behind the French economy for five years.

"It now looks as though our fears were exaggerated. The post-Brexit fall in sterling meant that the UK economy was smaller in dollar terms while growth was impeded.

"But sterling has since recovered and with a transitional deal with the EU now in place the country seems likely to overtake France again as soon as 2020, driven by the UK's particular blend of the tech sector and the creative sector which Cebr has called The Flat White Economy and by the probability of a fairly soft Brexit."

Oliver Kolodseike, senior economist and report co-author, said: "The interesting trend emerging is that by 2032 five of the ten 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."