France Overtakes UK As Fifth Largest Economy After Brexit

France and Britain were vying for fifth place on the list of the world’s biggest economies on Wednesday, with France nudging ahead after a renewed slump in the pound in the wake of the Brexit vote, Reuters calculations showed.

Britain’s gross domestic product stood at 1.864 trillion pounds in 2015, according to the last available figures from the International Monetary Fund.

The average exchange rate for the year in question is commonly used for comparisons between countries. But using the current exchange rate, France has pulled slightly ahead.

With the pound falling below 1.17 euros overnight for the first time since 2013, that means the size of the British economy in 2015 is now equivalent to 2.172 trillion euros – less than France’s official GDP of 2.182 trillion euros last year.

Britain’s vote in a referendum on June 23 to quit the EU has hammered financial markets, rattled businesses and punished the pound, which was trading at 1.1650 euros as of 1440 GMT. GBPEUR=

But volatile exchange rates meant the figures were hard to pin down. Britain briefly regained fifth spot after the pound broke above 1.17 euros for a few hours on Wednesday, only to sag again in mid-afternoon trade.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza