UK’s multi-billion pound sex and illegal drug industries have helped the UK leapfrog France to become the world’s fifth largest economy.
The latest global economic league tables includes a £10bn boost in UK earnings from drugs and sex, which earlier this year led to Brussels issuing a £1.7bn bill to the Treasury.
According to latest finding, the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) also forecast that the UK economy will pass Germany’s after 2030, for the first time since 1954, with a declining population identified by researchers as a “likely weakness” for the European industrial powerhouse.
CEBR chief executive, Douglas McWilliams, pointed to new evidence of “dramatic changes” taking place. He said: “Slow-growing European economies are falling back and Asian economies, even though their growth is slowing, are catching up.”
Although the United States still tops the world’s economic premier league, revisions in the way China calculates its GDP means it is now forecast to overtake the US three years earlier than previously forecast. By 2025, China will hold the number one slot, and by 2030 the top six reads: China, the US, India, Japan, Brazil and the UK.
Regardless of which measurement is used, the CEBR say that with globalisation reaching a “mature phase” by 2030, the world’s economic league placings are “settling down to a new order”.
Biggest economies: Top 10 2014
1 United States (last year: 1)
2 China (2)
3 Japan (3)
4 Germany (4)
5 United Kingdom (6)
6 France (5)
7 Brazil (7)
8 Italy (9)
9 India (10)
10 Russia (8)