Posts Tagged ‘japanese deflation’

Japan Continues to Slide Down the Deflationary Slope

October 30th, 2010 Comments off

The Japanese economy never did recover from the implosion of its banking sector in the 1990s. Tokyo decided to artificially maintain its banks on life support, precipitating the country’s notorious L shaped recession. Now that the  global economic crisis has done its share of damage to Japan’s export machine, Japan looks to endure a second miserable decade of economic recession and stagnation.

The latest economic indicators out of Tokyo show manufacturing output having declined  nearly 2 percent in September, the 4th straight month of industrial decline. More worrisome, the figures also show the Japanese economy experiencing its 19th consecutive month of  declines in core consumer prices. As all economists are aware, deflation is a dragging on the consumer sector of the economy, inhibiting individual consumers from executing major purchases. This explains the weak domestic demand in Japan, and with a rising yen threatening exports, it is no surprise that the prognosis for the Japanese economy is very grim.

As the United States has largely replicated Japan’s strategy in the 1990s of propping up insolvent banks at all costs,  it may be that what the Japanese economy is enduring is also a harbinger of the long-term economic path for the United States.

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More Bad News Hits Japan’s Economy

August 29th, 2009 Comments off
The world’s second largest economy remains in deep trouble, despite an official rate of GDP growth in Q2 of .9%. This figure, trumpeted by financial cheerleaders as the “end” of the Japanese recession, was due to massive deficit-driven government stimulus spending. The true state of Japan’s economy is reflected in the latest unemployment numbers.

Official figures just released reveal that Japan’s unemployment rate has increased to 5.7%, its highest level since the end of the Second World War. To put this number in perspective, the number of Japanese workers unemployed is more than one million higher than one year ago. In addition, consumer prices continue to fall, continuing Japan’s dangerous deflationary spiral. Deflation is particularly feared in Japan, as this destructive economic force was responsible for the prolonged L shaped Japanese recession of the 1990s.

The horrible economic news will undoubtedly be the kiss of death for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, expected to go down to a humiliating landslide defeat in this weekend’s general election in Japan. However, it is doubtful if even a political transformation in Tokyo will bring quick relief to the Japanese economic crisis.


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