California has long had an economy larger than most nations, but nominal growth has once again seen it slip on the top 10 list.
The state dropped to ninth on the list of world’s largest economies as measured by gross domestic product in 2010, according to a report this month from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
Brazil, with a 2010 GDP of $2.1 trillion, took the eighth spot from California ($1.901 trillion). India was 10th, at $1.7 trillion.
The United States, including California, was top of the list at $14.5 trillion. China ($5.9 trillion), Japan ($5.5 trillion), Germany ($3.3 trillion) and France ($2.6 trillion) rounded out the top five.
The United Kingdom ($2.2 trillion) and Italy ($2.1 trillion) were sixth and seventh, respectively.
In the early 2000s, California was fifth in terms of GDP, which is the value of its goods and services. But slow growth – 1.7% annually since 2000, adjusted for inflation – has helped faster-growing countries catch up.
The U.S. annual growth rate of 1.6% during that period was slightly lower than California’s.
Stephen Levy, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy director and senior economist, said the California-Brazil swap is more about Brazil rising than California falling. Brazil’s vast population advantage (190 million to California’s 37 million) and the increasing prices of commodities that Brazil exports are just part of the country’s rise, he said.
“There’s a number of countries that are embracing the technology that … has (been) developed, and they’re in a growth mode,” Levy said. "Exports and rising prices, yes, but generally they’re having great economic gains.”
Levy said California’s economy could soon surpass Italy’s, because of a recession in Italy and a falling euro.
California’s economy is the largest of the 50 states. Texas ($1.207 trillion) and New York ($1.16 trillion) are next.