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California’s economy is large enough it could be admitted into G-8


Sunrise at the Port of Los Angeles, which is worth $89.2 billion in trade value to California annually. (Port of Los Angeles)

California’s economy has surpassed Russia and Italy to become the eighth-largest in the world, according to the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

The state’s gross state product was $2.203 trillion in 2013, behind Brazil. California’s economy benefits from diversity and job growth that has expanded beyond the tech industry in recent years, said Steve Levy, director of the center.

“I think the first component is the very large tech surge in the Bay Area,” he said. “The second component that’s done very well is trade and tourism,” which is centered in Southern California, home to several ports and tourist destinations. Prior to drought, agriculture in the Central Valley also contributed significantly, he said.

“This is just a reminder that California is in a strong recovery and is coming back,” Levy said.

Texas and New York also have economies larger than many countries. Texas’s $1.5 trillion gross state product puts it behind Australia, and New York’s $1.3 trillion puts it behind South Korea.

California and Texas are among the 13 states with gross state product growth that outpaced the United States in 2013, many of them in the West and Midwest. “It’s largely resource based,” Levy said. “Most of it is oil and gas.”

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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