California economy still world’s eighth-largest, despite recession


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We’re No. 8!

Eighth-largest economy in the world, that is.

Despite the worst recession in 60 years and one out of eight workers out of a job, California, if it were its own country, would still be in eighth place with a gross domestic product of $1.9 trillion, according to World Bank figures for 2009.

California is nestled between No. 7, Italy, and up-and-coming No. 9, Brazil.


The United States, with a GDP of $14.1 trillion, has a lock on first place, followed by Japan ($5.1 trillion), China ($5 trillion), Germany ($3.3 trillion), France ($2.6 trillion) and the United Kingdom ($2.2 trillion).

Spain ($1.5 trillion) rounds out the top 10.

‘The California economy, while hard-hit by the construction collapse and national recession, remains a world economic powerhouse,’ said Stephen Levy, director of Palo Alto’s Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy, who put together an analysis comparing California’s economic might with other U.S. states and foreign nations.

California’s economy is so big that even its major and not-so-major regions rank fairly high on the World Bank’s Top 100 list of national economies.

By itself, the economy of the greater Los Angeles basin would rank 15th in the world between Mexico and South Korea.

The San Francisco Bay Area would be 20th between Switzerland and Belgium; San Diego 45th between Nigeria and Pakistan; the San Joaquin Valley 51st between Algeria and Hungary; and Sacramento 55th between Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

-- Marc Lifsher