California has world’s 8th biggest economy, tops Italy and Russian Federation

Turns out California packed on some pretty good economic muscle last year, generating the world’s eighth biggest economy in terms of gross product, according to a World Bank analysis.

Last year California’s gross state product of goods and services totaled $2.2 trillion, up from $2 trillion in 2012.

The state moved past Italy and the Russian Federation and is closing in on Brazil.

“The move up to eighth last year is another piece of the California comeback story,” economist Stephen Levy, director of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy, said in an email. “These numbers do contradict the idea that the Golden State is on the decline with everyone leaving.”

The U.S. was once again the top world economy with GDP of $16.8 trillion followed by China with $9.2 trillion, Japan at $4.8 trillion, Germany at $3.6 trillion, France at $2.7 trillion (all that fine wine, I imagine), the United Kingdom at $2.5 trillion and Brazil, at $2.2 trillion.

It adds up to an OK growth rate for the state considering the battering it took during the Great Recession.

The numbers might get better, too, when they are revised, as most economic reports are.

“I expect the 2013 estimate for California to be revised up as the state far outpaced the nation in job growth. In addition California is growing much faster than the nation measured by job gains in the first half of 2014. California should move closer to the United Kingdom and France in the rankings in 2014 and may also move closer to seventh-place place Brazil,” Levy said.

California is used to this place among the world’s economies as it also ranked eighth in 2011.

That certainly is nice.

But cooler, I think, is that we get to mess with Texas and its job and business poacher, Gov. Rick Perry. California finished higher than Texas, which with a $1.5 trillion GSP ranked second in the nation and 14th in the world.

Levy said that he will be doing a deeper analysis of the state’s numbers in the coming weeks and that, too, could offer some economic hope.

“The expansion has moved beyond just tech in the Bay Area to trade and tourism in Southern California and (there’s been) a statewide construction resurgence. L.A. County and the Inland Empire are outpacing the nation in job gains currently with unemployment coming down faster than in the nation. Port volumes are moving into record territory again or soon,” he said.