Monday, 16 February 2009

Japanese economy in "worst ever crisis" in post-war era

Not for the first time, the deterioration in the Japanese economy is being described in stark terms. AFP/CNA reports the fourth quarter GDP data.

Japan's economy shrank at an annualised pace of 12.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008 - its worst performance since 1974 - as the recession deepened, official figures showed Monday.

Asia's largest economy contracted by 3.3 per cent in the three months to December from the previous quarter as exports and factory output slumped due to the global economic crisis, the government said.

It was a third straight quarter of negative economic growth for Japan, which is in the midst of its first recession in seven years...

"This is the worst ever crisis in the post-war era. There is no doubt about it," Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said.

And the deterioration in the GDP is likely to get worse in the current quarter. From Bloomberg:

Japan’s economy may shrink at an annual 20 percent pace this quarter, the steepest drop in the postwar era, according to the Japan Research Institute...

The institute’s forecast for the three months ending March was based on a Trade Ministry survey that showed manufacturers planned to cut output by 9.1 percent in January and 4.7 percent this month. Production plunged a record 9.8 percent in December from a month earlier, revised ministry figures showed today.

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