Projecting the economic power and the enormous wealth of the USA,
one of its 50 constituent States, California, nicknamed the Golden State, has emerged as the world’s sixth biggest economy, behind only the USA, China, Japan, Germany and the UK. It is poised to leap ahead of the UK into fifth place with Brexit later this year and is already well ahead of countries such as France, Brazil, Russia and Australia.
California is about six times the size of Sri Lanka with a population about two and half times that of Sri Lanka whose GDP of $82.3 million was ranked 66th on the global scale in 2015 by the World Bank.
California’s Gross State Product in 2015 was $ 2.5 trillion, compared to the U.S. GDP of $17.8 trillion. What made 2015 special for California were a rising high tech industry, record tourism numbers, increased movie and television production, as well as expanded port and warehouse businesses.
However sunny the California disposition was, it probably would not have leapfrogged so many countries if they had not done so poorly themselves.For instance, Brazil’s GDP was done in by a decline in oil prices, recession and government turmoil.
Behind the United States, China’s economy came in second with $10.9 trillion. Japan followed with $4.1 trillion, Germany came in fourth with $ 3.6 trillion followed by the U.K at $ 2.9 trillion.
Travel and tourism played a large part in propelling the Golden State to rub shoulders with the world’s economic powers. Tourists spent $122.5 billion in California in 2015 generating 1.064 million in direct employment. The re-spending of travel industry income by businesses and employees produces secondary effects. In 2015 these secondary
impacts were 727,100 jobs with earnings of $ 41.9 billion. Total direct and secondary employment was 1,8 million jobs with earnings of $ 83.2 billion.
Travel generated local tax revenue in California in 2015 was $ 4.6 billion, driven by lodging sales and represent 4.2 percent of all State and Municipal tax revenue equivalent to $750 per resident household. The GDP of California travel industry was $62.5 billion in 2015.