A top state economist is challenging recent findings that California´s economy has slipped to sixth place overall in the world. A report released earlier this week by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation indicates that France has moved ahead of California and become the world´s fifth largest economy. The report puts California´s gross state product in 2001 at about one-point-three trillion dollars, one billion dollars below France´s estimated Gross Domestic Product. But Howard Roth, Chief Economist of the State Department of Finance, says the California number seems too low. Official numbers won´t be released by the U.S. Commerce Department until June 2003.