When looking at the emerging markets, it is hard to ignore the so-called BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China. While these countries have enjoyed robust growth rates in the past, the BRIC country exchange traded funds currently show disparate performances.

For instance, India is leading the pack for the past year, with the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) gaining 19.6%, followed by the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund (NYSEArca: FXI) rising 16.5% and Market Vectors TR Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) increasing 7.2%. Brazilian markets, though, have not been so strong over the past year, with the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWZ) dipping 2.8%. [Will 2013 be the Year of the BRIC ETF?]

Between 2000 and 2008, these four countries experienced an average annual GDP expansion of 8%, or 6% over the average of the G-7 developed countries, reports Liam Denning for the Wall Street Journal.

However, the International Monetary Fund projects average BRIC growth of 4.5% for 2012, and the spread between BRICs and the G-7 has diminished to 3.1%.

The global market slowdown has hurt the export dependent emerging markets. Prior to 2008, emerging markets saw export growth of 20% to 30% a year, but the problems in the Eurozone and U.S. have forced a cut back in imports.