California Passes France As World’s 6th-Largest Economy

June 18, 2016, 12:45 AM UTC
Picture of the French flag taken 20 June
Picture of the French flag taken 20 June 2007 in Paris. AFP PHOTO JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
JOEL SAGET AFP/Getty Images

(Reuters) – California is now the sixth-largest economy in the world, surpassing France, thanks to a robust state economy and strong U.S. dollar.

California was the world’s eighth-largest economy in 2014, Irena Asmundson, chief economist of the California Department of Finance, said in a phone interview on Friday. “California did exceptionally well in 2015.”

France is the world’s seventh-largest economy with a growth domestic product of $2.42 trillion, and India is the eighth-largest with $2.09 trillion, according to the latest International Monetary Fund data.

California is home to diverse strong economies, including Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Manufacturing and agriculture have performed well despite a severe drought, Asmundson said.

The most populous U.S. state has outpaced the rest of the country on job growth, California’s finance department said in its June bulletin this week. Gross state product was $2.46 trillion in 2015, with 4.1% of growth in real terms, it added.

U.S. gross domestic product grew by 2.4% in 2015. Growth slowed to 0.8% in the first quarter of 2016.