Brazil has surpassed Great Britain as the sixth largest economy in the world. Exchange traded funds pegged to Brazil have had a tough year, but their longer-term performance record on steady economic growth remains solid.

The iShares MSCI Brazil (NYSEArca: EWZ) is down about 25% year to date, but sports a three-year annualized return of about 24%, according to Morningstar.

“Brazil has beaten the European countries at soccer for a long time, but beating them at economics is a new phenomenon. Our world economic league table shows how the economic map is changing, with Asian countries and commodity-producing economies climbing up the league, while we in Europe fall back,” Douglas McWilliams, chief executive for the Center for Economics and Business Research, said.

According to Brazil’s finance minister Guido Mantega, if the economic trajectory does not weaken, the country might become “the world’s fifth-largest economy by 2015,” taking France out of fifth place. Brazil is anticipated to grow twice as fast as the European nations, reports Mayara Vilas Boas for Bloomberg. [Is Brazil ETF A Smart Investment?]

The latest CEBR report gave credit to a number of factors that have strengthened Brazil’s growth: The country is rich in commodities such as iron ore and coffee, the government maintains prudent fiscal management, and the currency has strengthened giving Brazilians more purchasing power. [ETF Chart of the Day: Brazil]

Brazil has the most stability from a geopolitical standpoint than any of the other BRIC nations. [BRIC ETFs in Focus]