Britain loses spot as sixth-largest economy to Brazil


The CEBR forecasts that the UK will be the eighth largest economy by 2020, with France in ninth spot, Germany in seventh spot and Russia and India in fourth and fifth place.

Growth in Europe is expected to be slow next year, restricted by austerity measures to reduce huge government debts.

The European Union will remain the world's largest trading bloc, though a recession next year is expected to hit global growth.

The latest forecasts by the CEBR show world growth falling to 2.5pc in 2012, a downward revision on its predictions in September.

However, this could fall to 1.1pc should "one or more countries” leave the euro, and there are “sovereign defaults and banks going bust and needing to be bailed out".

The economic research body said that if the eurozone countries can find a reasonably quick solution to the crisis, the whole of Europe will see its GDP slip by 0.6pc next year. However, if the crisis drags on or worsens, then growth could fall by up to 2pc.

The US forecast is better, with growth of 1.8pc and emerging economies are expected regain their momentum, with China forecast to grow by 7.6pc, India 6pc, Brazil 2.5pc and Russia 2.8pc.

From Daily Telegraph, 26 Dec 2011