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BEN SOUTHWOOD

THE UK is on a slow economic slide that will see it fall out of the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2050, PwC predicted this morning.

In 2011, the last year for which there is complete data, the UK economy was ninth biggest in the world, measured by GDP corrected for differences in prices, but it will fall to 11th by 2050, the accounting giant said.

This drop will see the UK eclipsed by Mexico and Indonesia as the populous developing countries overtake more stifled wealthy nations.

But top PwC economist John Hawksworth gave a positive spin to the data, pointing out that the falling ranking occurred despite rising output and social welfare.

“Although we expect the UK to drop out of the top 10 largest economies by 2050, the projected average UK growth rate to 2050 of just over two per cent is similar to France and stronger than for other large Western European economies,” Hawksworth said. “Germany, Italy and Spain face even bigger challenges than the UK from an ageing population and declining labour forces in the long run.”

Measured at constant 2011 prices the UK economy will more than double, from a size of around $2.29 trillion (£1.42 trillion) in 2011 to hit $3.50 trillion by 2030 and reach a total size of some $5.6 trillion in 2050.

The biggest change in PwC’s predictions is China’s rise to the top, taking first place from the US by 2017 in purchasing power parity terms, and by 2027 measured at market prices. The?US?has been the world’s largest national economy for almost a century.

Today’s table will be almost completely changed by 2050. Fourth placed Japan is set fall from fourth to fifth place, Germany from fifth to ninth and France from eighth to 10th.

Taking the place of these 19th-century industrialisers will be Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, the financial services firm says.

Brazil will jump from seventh to fourth, Mexico from 11th to seventh biggest economy, and Indonesia will leapfrog Turkey, Canada, South Korea, Spain, Italy, the UK, France and Germany in its epic rise to the world’s 8th biggest economy.