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California Ranks As World’s 8th Largest Economy, Overtaking Russia And Italy

Above: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is seen from The Presidio, June 21, 2009.

Aired 7/8/14 on KPBS News.

Economist says the Golden State’s standing is more evidence of its continued recovery. Tourism and the tech industry helped fuel California's comeback, an economist says.

California surpassed Russia and Italy to become the world’s eighth largest economy in 2013.

“It says that the average output per worker in California is higher than any other state in the nation and most other countries,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy which compiled the rankings from annual figures put out by the World Bank.

The rankings are based on the value of all goods and services produced in California.

China is the world’s second largest economy, according to the World Bank. Its economic output is half that of the United States. Japan has the world’s third largest economy followed by Germany and France.

Levy said California is poised to overtake the fifth and sixth largest economies this year.

California’s eighth place showing in 2013 tells the story of the state’s comeback after years of hard knocks starting in 2007. Levy credited Silicon Valley with playing a pivotal role in the rebound.

“It’s led by tech in the Bay Area,” Levy said. “Tourism — of which San Diego and Southern California are the strongest part — is setting records again. Foreign trade from Mexico and the Pacific Rim is on the rise again. We are starting to build more homes and office buildings.”

Levy said California has outpaced the rest of the country in growth for the past three years.

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