guido_mantega.jpgSAO PAULO (AP) _ Brazil's finance minister says the country's economy will overtake that of France to become the globe's fifth-largest economy before 2015.

Guido Mantega says that while the International Monetary Fund forecasts Brazil will become the fifth-largest economy by 2015, he thinks it will happen earlier.

He didn't detail exactly when that would be, however.

Mantega was quoted by the website of the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper that Brazil would surpass France and perhaps even Germany because Brazil's gross domestic product is growing twice as fast as the GDPs of European nations.

Brazil's GDP is expected to grow 3 percent in 2011 and 3.5 percent in 2012.