California’s Economy Passes UK’s To Become World’s 5th Biggest

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on May 5th, 2018

Washington D.C., USA: California is now the world’s fifth-largest economy, up from sixth the previous year, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its 2017 GDP was $2.747 trillion, surpassing the UK’s $2.625 trillion GDP. Texas is the next highest-producing state with a GDP of $1.696 trillion.

The state calculates California’s economic ranking as if it were a country by comparing state-level GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce with global data from the International Monetary Fund.

Last time California was ranked 5th was in 2002. As recently as 2012, California was ranked 10th.

Rankings now show US, China, Japan, Germany, and California in the top five.

Rounding out the Top ten are the UK, India, France, Brazil and Italy.

California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, the data said. Meanwhile, the UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations.

All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California’s higher GDP.  Financial services and real estate led the pack at $26 billion in growth, followed by the information sector, which includes many technology companies, at $20 billion. Manufacturing was up $10 billion.

The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California’s economy, home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world’s entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation’s salad bowl in the Central Valley agricultural heartland. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession.

California last had the world’s fifth largest economy in 2002 but fell as low as 10th in 2012 following the Great Recession. Since then, the largest U.S. state has added 2 million jobs and grown its GDP by $700 billion.

California’s economic output is now surpassed only by the total GDP of the United States, China, Japan and Germany. The state has 12 percent of the U.S. population but contributed 16 percent of the country’s job growth between 2012 and 2017. Its share of the national economy also grew from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent over that five-year period, according to state economists.

The United Kingdom has 25 million more people than California but now has a smaller GDP.

California’s economic juggernaut is concentrated in coastal metropolises around San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

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