State Watch

California becomes the world’s fifth-biggest economy

San Francisco, Parental leave
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California’s economy is once again the world’s fifth largest after it surpassed the United Kingdom (U.K.), according to federal data released on Friday.

California’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew $127 billion between 2016 and 2017 to more than $2.7 trillion.

At the same time, the U.K.’s GDP shrunk when measured in U.S. dollars, largely because of exchange rate fluctuations, The Associated Press reported.

Only the U.S., China, Japan and Germany have economies larger than California’s.


The new data underscores the strength of the state’s large population and the influence of its burgeoning Silicon Valley technology sector, Hollywood’s entertainment industry and the Central Valley’s agricultural output.

With the exception of agriculture, each of the state’s economic sectors contributed to the state’s higher GDP, Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California Department of Finance told the AP.

Financial services and real estate grew by $26 billion, while the information sector was up $20 billion. Manufacturing increased by $10 billion.

The new data also highlights California’s economic rebound following the Great Recession, after which the state fell as far as 10th place in 2012 GDP rankings.

Since then, California’s GDP has grown by $700 billion and added 2 million jobs.

California, which houses 12 percent of the U.S. population, contributed to 16 percent of all domestic job growth between 2012 and 2017. Meanwhile, the state’s U.S. economic share grew from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent, the AP reported.

Tags California economy Economy of the United States Great Recession Gross domestic product Silicon Valley UK

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