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Japan economy shrinks at record 15.2 percent pace
Google/AP ^ | 5/20/2009 | Tomoko Hosaka

Posted on 05/20/2009 9:05:24 AM PDT by mojito

Japan's economy shrank at a record 15.2 percent annual pace in the first quarter, dragged down by plunging exports, thinner factory output and wary shoppers.

But within the details emerged new hope. Economists said the worst is over for the world's second-largest economy. Many predicted it would grow in the April-June period amid aggressive stimulus steps by the government and signs that companies are boosting production....

The drop in gross domestic product was the steepest since Japan began compiling such statistics in 1955. Compared to the previous three months, GDP fell 4 percent, in the fourth straight quarter that the economy withered.

The results were markedly worse than for other major economies....

Like its Asian neighbors, Japan has been pummeled by the unprecedented collapse in global demand triggered last year by the U.S. financial crisis. Manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Sony Corp. have had to suspend production and shut down plants. They have laid off thousands of workers, contributing to a rising jobless rate that could drag on any nascent recovery.

(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Japan
KEYWORDS: depression; japan
Demographic decline meets economic decline.
1 posted on 05/20/2009 9:05:24 AM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito
Many predicted it would grow in the April-June period amid aggressive stimulus steps by the government

This sounds vaguely familiar. Is this like Obama's plan to write IOU's to ourselves?

2 posted on 05/20/2009 9:07:02 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: mojito

And not by coincidence, the Yen is the only currency dropping against the dollar.


3 posted on 05/20/2009 9:08:31 AM PDT by gondramB
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To: mojito

Darn that Bush!


4 posted on 05/20/2009 9:11:52 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (We are a ruled people, serfs to the Federal Oligarchy -- and the Tree of Liberty thirsts)
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To: mojito

I’ve never seen anything like a 15.2% drop in a major economy. That’s disastrous.


5 posted on 05/20/2009 9:14:50 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: Woebama

I was thinking of a “D” word other than disastrous, myself, but the MSM seem to be at pains to avoid that one.


6 posted on 05/20/2009 9:17:33 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Woebama
Historically,

It will be called World Socialism (Until the west and its allies are "dead".)

PS Japan is in the top 5 who contribute payment for the UN.

PPS The top 5= approx 50% of all payment.

7 posted on 05/20/2009 9:20:20 AM PDT by Jakarta ex-pat
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To: mojito
But the results fell within expectations, and recent signs point to a brighter outlook in the months ahead, said Fumiyuki Hussein Nakanishi, chief equity strategist at SMBC Friend Securities in Tokyo.
8 posted on 05/20/2009 9:20:50 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: mojito

“Demographic decline meets economic decline.”

The country is a world-beater in technology and manufacturing, it has little crime, its people are highly educated, hard-working and polite, it has gobs of national savings - yet it’s economy is declining as if in war.

Given that Japan also allows little immigration, it may be the purest specimen available of what demographic decline will do to a nation and an economy


9 posted on 05/20/2009 9:38:05 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: mojito

I agree with the demographics discussion. But one fact about Japan’s 10 year stagflation hasn’t been discussed. In 1993, the Socialist Party has been running the country. When you have socialism, there’s no incentive for growth.


10 posted on 05/20/2009 9:45:08 AM PDT by griswold3 (a good story is more compelling than the search for truth)
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To: mojito
One has to wonder too, if Japan will ever fully re-grasp their recent market share of exports?

It's hard to believe that China will not challenge them for market share on any consumer product exports they possibly can, with Beijings' social problems associated with decline of Chinese exports of tat to the West during this downturn.

Japan will still have their blue-chip products in Toyota, Honda and such, but their mainstream electronics exports could come under serious threat from desperate Chinese manufacturers.

Japan might have to seriously reconsider their stance in World economic circles should this happen.
11 posted on 05/20/2009 9:48:21 AM PDT by bethybabes69 (Reichstag Flu, coming to a town near you, right before the revolution is planned to commence!)
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To: Woebama

Remember when Japan was the ideal model for the world? This is not good news. An orderly people like the Japanese may well turn to nationalism and fascism to solve their problems. This is not good.


12 posted on 05/20/2009 9:52:48 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: mojito

The rate of decline of the American economy in the first quarter was at a 6.1% annual rate.


13 posted on 05/20/2009 9:55:54 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Crucify ! Crucify ! Crucify him!!)
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To: PGR88

Eh I’m not to worried about the outlook for Japan just give them a few more years. By 2020 that country will have more robots than new born babies. Now how that bodes for the rest of us I’m not so sure...


14 posted on 05/20/2009 10:45:57 AM PDT by Eyes Unclouded (Step 1: Expel half the party and write off huge chunks of the country. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit.)
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To: griswold3

The Japan Socialist Party has never ever been in power in post war Japan.


15 posted on 05/20/2009 1:11:33 PM PDT by Republican Party Reptile
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To: Republican Party Reptile

Well, depends how who defines ‘Liberal Democrat/Democrat’...
Going by what my friends at the Honda plant say about their government, not what is described in the media.


16 posted on 05/20/2009 1:45:39 PM PDT by griswold3 (a good story is more compelling than the search for truth)
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To: griswold3

In that case, the LDP didn’t came to power only in 1993 (if anything they lost it briefly between 1993 and 1994 to the JRP). The LDP has been THE Party in power pretty much the entire post-war period from 1950’s til today, with very few short years out of power here and there.

Or to put it another way, there has never been a *Conservative* Party holding power in Japan after end of WW2. Since WW2 all the way up to today Japan has ALWAYS been a far more Socialist / Social Liberal / Mercantilist economy than the U.S.


17 posted on 05/20/2009 2:14:39 PM PDT by Republican Party Reptile
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To: mojito
Many predicted it would grow in the April-June period amid aggressive stimulus steps by the government and signs that companies are boosting production....

Darned Keynesian BS still won't work.

Maybe we should just try it again, only spend MORE money this time! That's sure to work.

18 posted on 05/20/2009 2:16:28 PM PDT by TChris (There is no freedom without the possibility of failure.)
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To: gondramB
And not by coincidence, the Yen is the only currency dropping against the dollar.

??? It's below 95 yen per 1 US dollar (94.47). When I moved to Japan it was about 130 yen per 1 US dollar (in 1999).

A strong yen is bad news for exports to the US.

19 posted on 05/21/2009 2:18:27 AM PDT by altair (My vote didn't count, I voted in California)
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To: gondramB
And not by coincidence, the Yen is the only currency dropping against the dollar.

No, the yen is very strong against the dollar, near record levels; the daily BOJ number is that it only takes 94.76 yen to buy one dollar.

20 posted on 05/21/2009 3:51:00 AM PDT by snowsislander (NRA -- join today! 1-877-NRA-2000)
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To: snowsislander; altair
Although its changed a bit in last week, it was down in the mid to high 80's late last year.


21 posted on 05/21/2009 4:00:47 AM PDT by gondramB
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

The Japanese economic model had many fascist elements when it was being touted. MITI, Postal Savings and the like were heavy government involvement in the economy. We are headed in that direction now . . .


22 posted on 05/21/2009 4:43:46 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Do you really think this can be called a depression?


23 posted on 05/21/2009 4:44:32 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: Woebama

It’s not my definition. Economies that are heavily dependent upon manufacturing for export are verging on depression, if they’re not already in one, in my opinion.

But, governments and news media appear to be at pains to avoid using the term.


24 posted on 05/21/2009 7:39:05 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

Well, if people start using the term depression they’ll change their behavior, hiring, purchasing and so forth even more than they already have. I can understand why the government wouldn’t use it. As far as the media goes, they’ll have egg on their face if they say “depression” and it’s wrong. 9% unemployment here in the USA isn’t what we saw in the great depression. It’s better by far. The length of this recession is now at 16 months, which makes it the longest recession in history if it doesn’t lift by the end of the quarter.


25 posted on 05/21/2009 9:50:42 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: Woebama

The United States economy is not heavily dependent upon export manufacturing, Woebama. Most nations whose economies are heavily dependent upon export manufacturing, unlike the US, also have experienced 10% or greater year-over-year declines in GDP. This is the classic definition of economic depression.

Also, US unemployment is not calculated in a similar manner now, in comparison to the 20 - 25% Great Depression numbers we’re accustomed to seeing. That 9% or so national average would be considerably higher, if the same methods were used now. For a close approximation, look to the U-6 unemployment numbers, instead of the U-3 numbers.


26 posted on 05/21/2009 11:03:55 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

I hadn’t read much about U-3 and U-6 data. A quick google turned this up. If you have a good link I’d love to learn more.

http://www.economicpopulist.org/?q=content/u3-and-u6-unemployment-during-great-depression


27 posted on 05/21/2009 4:44:06 PM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: Jakarta ex-pat

It will be called World Socialism (Until the west and its allies are “dead”.)
___________________________

Pray for the strength of our people. We are still the last best hope of mankind . . . and we are tottering.

I can imagine the pain that 15% down causes in an economy. The industry/region/company I’m in is down by over that amount in the past year. Lots of pressure, job insecurity even for the survivors, more layoffs /firings to come, and most people are not in a strong financial position to handle unemployment because their incomes have been lower for the past year and a quarter already, so bonuses down / non-existant / commissions down / customer complaints up since they are in financial distress. Businesses that have been customers for 25 years are going out of business — in the red for the last few years already.

15% is tough but that amount down overall for the economy means that specific industries are down by far, far more than that. I feel for those families.


28 posted on 05/22/2009 6:11:08 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

I was thinking of a “D” word other than disastrous, myself, but the MSM seem to be at pains to avoid that one.
__________________________________________________________

I just googled depression 2009 . . . no stories on it come up since march 2009 . . .


29 posted on 05/27/2009 8:00:32 AM PDT by Woebama (Paying for my neighbor's mortgage and Wall Street's bonuses sure is hard.)
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