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California overtakes France to become sixth-largest economy

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California has overtaken France as the world's sixth-largest economy, fueled by strong growth and the US dollar's gains against foreign currencies, state data released Tuesday show.

[SAN FRANCISCO] California has overtaken France as the world's sixth-largest economy, fueled by strong growth and the US dollar's gains against foreign currencies, state data released Tuesday show.

The most-populous US state, with a gross domestic product of US$2.5 trillion, has also eclipsed recession-plagued Brazil.

"This is the result of both good growth in California and exchange-rate movements of the US dollar versus other currencies," said Irena Asmundson, chief economist in the California Department of Finance.

Governor Jerry Brown, 78, is running the state during an economic turnaround driven by technology companies including Facebook Inc and Apple Inc, along with agricultural and manufacturing industries that lead the US.

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Since taking office in 2011, Mr Brown steered the state away from fiscal turmoil and persistent deficits to budget surpluses.

California grew by 4.1 per cent in 2015, compared with a 2.4 per cent increase for the US and 1.1 per cent for France, Ms Asmundson said.

Last year, California created the most jobs of any state, more than the second- and third-most-populous states Florida and Texas combined.

Four of the world's 10 largest companies are based in California, including Alphabet Inc and Facebook.

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