Fifth largest economy is a blip on the global radar

Technically, Boris Johnson was correct: the UK was the fifth largest economy in the world. But things move quickly these days. With the Pound Sterling declining 12% since Brexit vote, France has now overtaken as the fifth largest economy in the world.

Even before the EU Referendum, to think that the UK economy is meaningful in a global context was ludicrous. At not even 4% of world GDP, the UK is a blip on the global economic radar screen. It is barely larger than California, smaller than the northeast US, one-eighth of overall US GDP, one-sixth of China’s. The UK is the same size as, gasp, Brazil & Mexico combined, two countries upon which the Brits (and to be fair, most Europeans) love to cast a denigrating eye.

China was 40% of global GDP growth in recent years; the UK even with better performance than the EU was one-tenth of one percent of global growth.

To think that a spec of that size carries weight on its own in the world is, in my view, a pipe-dream.

Originally, 16 June 2016