California surpasses France as world's 6th largest economy

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 California, a southern state in the US, is now the sixth largest economy in the world, surpassing France thanks to a robust state economy and the strength of the US dollar.

California was the world's eighth-largest economy as of last year, according to Irena Asmundson, chief economist of the California Department of Finance.

"California did exceptionally well in 2015," said Asmundson. "Lots of sectors did well."

California is home to diverse strong economies, including Silicon Valley andHollywood. Manufacturing has performed well, as has the agriculture sector, despite a severe drought, said Asmundson. 

The nation's most populous state has outpaced the rest of the US on job growth. Its gross state product was $2.46 trillion, with 4.1 percent of state growth this year in real terms, according to the state's finance department.

Nationally, gross domestic product grew by 2.4 percent in 2015. Growth slowed to 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

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