The BRICs Remain in the Fast Lane


The BRICs continue to advance up the ladder of global economic prominence. Their strong growth performance during the global economic crisis has accelerated this trend. All of the BRICs have now reached, or are rapidly approaching, the range of the G7 countries in terms of the total size of their economies. However, living standards in the BRICs continue to lag far behind the developed world.

In recent years, the BRICs have continued their steady climb up the global rankings of economies by size, as measured by US Dollar-denominated GDP. 2009-10 proved to be watershed years in this regard. China moved past Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy. Brazil passed Spain and Italy to become the seventh-largest economy, and is now fast approaching the UK. India and Russia both jumped over Spain to move into ninth and eleventh positions, respectively. Notably, the BRICs’ positions look even more favourable if we instead compare countries’ GDP using PPP exchange rates. While we have long expected the BRICs to catch up with the majority of developed countries eventually, these shifts are happening even quicker than we envisaged.

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Dominic Wilson
Dominic Wilson, Managing Director, co-head of Global Macro and Markets Research in the Economics Group.
Contantin Burgi
Stacy Carlson