Friday, May 04, 2018

The Golden State

California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest. California’s economic output is now surpassed only by the total GDP of the United States, China, Japan, and Germany.

With a population, only 40 million compared with the UK’s 65 million people, California’s gross domestic product of $2.7tn has overtaken the UK’s $2.6tn.  GDP rose by $127bn in the period from 2016 to 2017, while the UK’s economic output fell slightly over that time when measured in US dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations. British GDP has fallen steadily from $3tn in 2014, according to World Bank figures.

All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California’s higher GDP, said Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California department of finance. Financial services and real estate led the way, with $26bn in growth, followed by the information sector, which includes many technology companies, at $20bn. Manufacturing was up $10bn.

Since 2012, the largest US state has added 2 million jobs and grown its GDP by $700bn, now contributing a little over 14% of the US economy despite having 12% of the US population, according to state economists.

California’s strong economic performance relative to other industrialized economies is driven by worker productivity, said Lee Ohanian, an economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

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