Despite its severe recession, California's economy is still the eighth largest in the world, the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy reported Thursday in an analysis of new national data.
The data came from the U.S. Department of Commerce, pegging California's economic output in 2009 at $1.9 trillion, somewhat higher than previous estimates. The Palo Alto-based CCSCE merged the Commerce Department data with the World Bank's global economic output estimates to conclude that California remains in eighth place, which it has occupied for several years after briefly moving up in the global economic rankings to fifth or sixth place.
California generated almost as much economic output as the No. 2 and No. 3 states, Texas ($1.1 trillion) and New York ($1.1 trillion), combined. And were it a nation, the state's economy would be surpassed only by the United States ($14.1 trillion), Japan ($5.1 trillion), China ($5 trillion), Germany ($3.3 trillion), France ($2.6 trillion), Great Britain ($2.2 trillion), and Italy ($2.1 trillion).
"The California economy, while hard hit by the construction collapse and national recession, remains a world economic powerhouse" Stephen Levy, the center's director, said. "The numbers portray a state growing slightly faster than the nation over the past decade driven by the high productivity tech sector. Now the state and national challenge is to mount another burst of growth driven by innovation and creativity. These are difficult challenges in today's mood of anger and gridlock but we have responded before and must do so again."
What neither Levy nor other economists know, however, is what will happen in California in the future. The general consensus is that while the state has hit an economic bottom, it will lag behind the nation's economic recovery and unemployment, now 12.4 percent, could remain in double digits for several more years.
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