As per the World Bank's updated data for 2017, India has edged past France and snatched the tag of the world's sixth-largest economy from it, sending it a rank lower. India's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $2.597 trillion at the end of last year while the French economy was valued at $2.582 trillion.
The US remains the world's largest economy with a GDP of $19.39 trillion, followed by China ($12.23 trillion), Japan ($4.87 trillion), Germany ($3.67 trillion) and the United Kingdom ($2.62 trillion).
Indian economy had slowed down last year due to transitory shocks like demonetisation and the chaotic implementation of the national goods and services tax (GST), but has since bounced back. India's growth accelerated to 7.7 per cent in the quarter ended March, up from 7 per cent in the previous quarter. Better still, last month, the World Bank forecast a growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for the next two years, making it the fastest growing country among major emerging economies.
According to India Today, the World Bank noted that the Indian economy has benefitted from robust performances in manufacturing sector driven by increased consumer spending. Overall, India has made rapid progress, doubling its GDP in less than past decade and emerging as the engine of economic growth in Asia, especially with the Chinese economy showing definite signs of lethargy.
The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report expects China to decelerate from 6.6 per cent in the current year to 6.4 per cent in 2019, while India is expected to post growth rates of 7.4 per cent and 7.8 per cent in the same time frame. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to take GDP growth to double digits while speaking at the Niti Aayog's fourth Governing Council last month.
But the outlook in terms of per capita GDP is rather dismal since India boasts a population of around 1.34 billion, and according to a 2017 UN report, is likely to surpass China as the world's most populous country around 2024. Despite India's per capita GDP rising to $7,170 in 2017, up from $6,690 the previous year, it only ranks 126th in the world as per IMF data. And France, with a population of 67 million, reportedly boasts a figure roughly 20 times higher than us.
London-based consultancy, the Centre for Economics and Business Research's 2018 World Economic League Table recently predicted that the Indian economy will overtake the UK, too, in real money dollar terms in 2018. And by 2032, India will emerge as the world's third largest economy.