California Still the World’s 8th Largest Economy

The California economy, while hard hit by the construction collapse and national recession, remains a world economic powerhouse.

The latest numbers portray a state growing slightly faster than the nation over the past decade, driven by the high productivity tech sector. Now the state and national challenge is to mount another burst of growth driven by innovation and creativity. These are difficult challenges in today’s mood of anger and gridlock but we have responded before and must do so again.

California remained the world’s 8th largest economy in 2009 despite the state’s deep recession. New estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce put California’s gross state product (GSP) at $1.9 trillion in 2009, which is higher than previous estimates.

Other highlights from the December 2010 Numbers in the News report released by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy include:

* Texas and New York ranked 2nd and 3rd among state economies and ranked just behind Canada, India and Russia at $1.1 trillion. The next largest state economies were in Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

* Wyoming, North and South Dakota were the fastest growing state economies between 2000 and 2009. The inflation adjusted California GSP grew at 1.9% per year, slightly faster than the U.S. 1.6% annual growth rate and slightly below Texas’s 2.1% growth rate.

* California’s GSP per capita ($47,067) ranked 8th among states and was 12% above the U.S. average of $42,031. Texas ranked 21st with a GSP per capita of $42, 526.

* The Southern California economy at $856 billion in 2009 ranked between the 14th largest economy Mexico and Korea. The Bay Area economy at $486 billion ranked between the 19th largest economy Switzerland and Belgium. The San Diego economy at $168 billion ranked between 44th place Nigeria and Pakistan.

* The San Joaquin Valley economy at $139 billion ranked between 50th place Algeria and Hungary. The Sacramento region economy at $109 billion in 2009 ranked between 54th place Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Stephen Levy is director of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy.

See his latest full Numbers in the News report here.

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