India has moved past France to become the world’s 6th largest economy, and it could soon leapfrog over its former colonial ruler, the United Kingdom, to break into the world’s top five.
India’s gross domestic product for 2017 totaled $2.6 trillion (U.S.), up 15% from the previous year, according to newly released numbers
The U.S. remains the world’s largest economy by far, at $19.4 trillion. 2nd place China is well behind at $12.2 trillion, while Japan, Germany and the UK round out the top five. For now, that is.
This week, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley predicted that India’s economy will surpass that of the UK next year if present trends hold. “If we keep going at the rate which is being projected, it is likely that next year we will be the fifth largest economy ahead of Great Britain,” said Jaitley, in an article posted on the BJP party website. “Being the fastest growing economy for the last for years, we can look at the next decade as one of economic expansion.”
Despite its rapid growth, fueled in large part by the country’s burgeoning tech sector, India’s continued expansion faces some potential roadblocks. In terms of ease of doing business, the country is ranked a lowly 100th by The World Bank.
Jaitley also conceded that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has plenty of work to do to ensure that economic growth lifts the whole population. It’s estimated that 22% of the country’s 1.2 billion inhabitants live below the poverty line. Many remote regions are particularly impoverished. “How are we able to translate the advantages of this faster growth to rural India, which has always been less advantaged,” Jaitley wrote.