Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil leapfrogs Britain

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on March 9, 2011

by Gideon Rachman  for Financial Times – Rachman Blog, March 5th, 2011.

During the Blair years, whenever government ministers wanted to remind voters (or possibly just themselves) of the importance of the UK, they would say – “After all, Britain is the world’s fourth largest economy.” Since then China has shot up the rankings, forcing Britain down a place. And now I see Brazil is claiming to be the world’s fifth largest economy which, if true, would mean Britain is now sixth – or possibly seventh behind France, if you use current exchange rates. To be honest, I’m losing track.

It’s all part of the much-heralded shift of economic power from West to East and North to South. Brazil is a big-place, so once its economy began to grow rapidly and per-capita incomes rose in line with that, it was inevitable that the Brazilian economy would overtake middle-ranking European countries in size. This weekend’s news is nicely timed for the Brazilians, since it coincides with the beginning of the Rio cardinal.

Europeans, I think, have still to adjust to the fact that there is more to Brazil than football, beaches and the Amazon. This is a serious industrial economy, as well one of the world’s biggesrt commodity exporters – and, fairly soon, a major oil producer too. (continue reading… )



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