California's economy is now world's 5th largest, surpassing United Kingdom

U.S. currency is seen in this file

California has regained its position as the fifth largest economy in the world, federal data released Friday show.

Despite having a population of 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. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession.

"We have the entrepreneurial spirit in the state, and that attracts a lot of talent and money", Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands, told the wire service. A huge piece of that recovery has been due to globalism, with the U.S. Commerce Department reporting that California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies in 2017. The second factor was the information sector with $20 billion and third was manufacturing, with $10 billion growth. The state had slipped to the 10th-largest world economy in 2012, when its GSP was just $2.003 trillion. Since that time, however, the state has increased its GDP by $700 billion and added an estimated 2 million jobs.

If the state was its own independent country it would have the fifth largest economy in the world, behind only the USA, China, Japan and Germany. The state is an overachiever in national terms, accounting for a little over 14 percent of the US economy despite only having 12 percent of the population.

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California's unemployment rate was at a 17-year low of 4.8 percent in 2017 and has steadily declined to 4.3 percent at the end of March to set a 38-year low, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

California's economic juggernaut is concentrated in coastal metropolises around San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

"The non-coastal areas of CA have not generated almost as much economic growth as the coastal areas", Ohanian said.

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