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UK to Become Largest European Economy?

According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, the UK will surpass both France and Germany to become the largest economy in Europe in the next 20 years, second only to the United States in the West. The Telegraph:

In an upbeat assessment of the country’s prospects, the CEBR said Britain, the sixth biggest economy in the world, will see its GDP grow from £1.59 trillion to £2.64 trillion by 2028.

In the same period, Germany’s output will grow more slowly from £2.2 trillion to £2.69 trillion, with growth hampered by a weak euro, an ageing population and the prospect of future Eurozone bailouts. It puts Britain on course to surpass Germany by 2030.

Britain is also due to overtake France by 2018. Its global ranking is set to slide as Francois Hollande’s high tax regime and weak exports suffocate growth.

Just four years ago, the conventional wisdom was proclaiming the death of “Anglo-Saxon” capitalism against the allegedly superior, more regulated Continental social market economies. We’ll see—long term economic forecasts are almost always wrong, but the CEBR is onto something. Continental Europe’s reckless adoption of the euro has mired its leading economies in the greatest man-made disaster since World War Two, and both the demographic and the state debt indicators look grim.

The UK has its share of problems, and may not even be a united country in 20 years, but not all that long ago people were talking about Italy’s success in passing the UK. It’s an unspeakably horrible thought for some, but the dread Anglo-Saxon capitalism may still have a few things to teach the rest of the world.

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  • Pincher Martin

    The UK bigger than Germany? You guys here at Mead Inc. will believe anything.

    • TommyTwo

      I’m not willing to invest any money based on this.

      However, keep in mind:
      1. Germany’s self-inflicted shot in the foot in the form of its insane energy policy
      2. Germany’s membership in the Eurozone
      3. Germany’s poor demographics compared to the UK.

      • Pincher Martin


        1) Insane policies are easy to change. The more insane a policy is, the less likely I would use it to make long term projections.

        2) Being in the Eurozone hasn’t prevented Germany from having slightly better growth than the UK over the last five years. If the Euro’s recent well-publicized troubles couldn’t provide the UK with an economic advantage over Germany, why should the next fifteen years look any different?

        3) The UK’s demographic advantage is reliant on questionable immigration policies. I’m not sure I would bet that having a lot of young, unemployed Muslim and Eastern European men in a workforce is the key to a thriving economic future.

  • PKCasimir

    Yeah and pigs will fly too!

  • Jim__L

    A very wise person whose work I read from time to time once pointed out that true exponential curves really don’t exist in nature.

    Comparing and contrasting British, French, and German economic decisions and outcomes can be a useful exercise, though.

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