Japan is taking a beating
Countries that depend on export growth to fuel overall economic growth are taking a beating, especially Japan. In the current global recession scenario, international labor markets, incomes, production, and profits are contemporaneously declining. Not good for any country that depends on foreign demand. But worse yet, the yen remains elevated, reducing foreign demand even further.
The Japanese economy is plummeting
The chart illustrates Japan’s industrial production on a monthly basis spanning the years Jan. 2003 to Dec. 2008 (source data here). This is a rather humbling visual: industrial production – Japan’s bread and butter – declined 20% since September 2008, or near a 50% annualized decline. In December 2008, Japan’s industrial production sector was producing over 15% below its 2005 average rate of production. Against this backdrop, the 10% annual decline in U.S. industrial output looks like a benign report.
The unemployment rate is surging
35 Responses to “Japan is taking a beating”
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Thanks, good summarization and well illustrated. As a contrarian investor I find the prices of Japanese equities very appealing, but the chart of industrial production indicates that this is clearly a case of catching the proverbial falling knife.I hope you do an update when there is a degree of stabilization in these awful looking numbers. At some point I still believe there will be a tremendous opportunity to invest in Japanese stocks.
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