Business Headlines

California Overtakes France to Become Sixth-Largest Economy

published Jun 14th 2016, 5:43 pm, by Alison Vekshin

(Bloomberg) —
California has overtaken France as the world’s sixth-largest economy, fueled by strong growth and the U.S. dollar’s gains against foreign currencies, state data released Tuesday show.

The most-populous U.S. state, with a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, has also eclipsed recession-plagued Brazil.

“This is the result of both good growth in California and exchange-rate movements of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies,” said Irena Asmundson, chief economist in the California Department of Finance.

Governor Jerry Brown, 78, is running the state during an economic turnaround driven by technology companies including Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., along with agricultural and manufacturing industries that lead the U.S. Since taking office in 2011, Brown steered the state away from fiscal turmoil and persistent deficits to budget surpluses.

California grew by 4.1 percent in 2015, compared with a 2.4 percent increase for the U.S. and 1.1 percent for France, Asmundson said.

Last year, California created the most jobs of any state, more than the second- and third-most-populous states Florida and Texas combined. Four of the world’s 10 largest companies are based in California, including Alphabet Inc. and Facebook.

–With assistance from Matthew Winkler. To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at Jeffrey Taylor, Michael Hytha

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P

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