(L-R) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a family photograph during the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, March 27, 2013.

Johannesburg - The Brics economies are not going to crash but are facing another difficult year, Standard Bank economist Jeremy Stevens said on Wednesday.

“The Brics had a challenging 2013 and will have a challenging 2014,” he said speaking via video link from Beijing, China.

“The situation is not dire... (but) there is a lot of work on the table for the leadership.”

Brics is an association of five major emerging economies:

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The biggest threat for the Brics was coming from within because of China's slow down.

Since 2008 gross domestic product growth had been the key focus for Chinese policy makers. However balance sheet scrutiny had not been done carefully, said Stevens.

Last year there was surging corporate debt in China.

“As long as they (companies) are running and operating, they can continue to borrow.”

Cash flow was diminishing and it was unlikely that the debt was still serviceable, he said.

“We are looking at a new China.” - Sapa