Economy of Japan

Economy - overview
In the years following World War II, government-industry cooperation, a strong work ethic, mastery of high technology, and a comparatively small defense allocation (1% of GDP) helped Japan develop a technologically advanced economy. Two notable characteristics of the post-war economy were the close interlocking structures of manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, known as keiretsu, and the guarantee of lifetime employment for a substantial portion of the urban labor force. Both features are now eroding under the dual pressures of global competition and domestic demographic change. Japan's industrial sector is heavily dependent on imported raw materials and fuels. A tiny agricultural sector is highly subsidized and protected, with crop yields among the highest in the world. Usually self-sufficient in rice, Japan imports about 60% of its food on a caloric basis. Japan maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets and accounts for nearly 15% of the global catch. For three decades, overall real economic growth had been spectacular - a 10% average in the 1960s, a 5% average in the 1970s, and a 4% average in the 1980s. Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s, averaging just 1.7%, largely because of the after effects of inefficient investment and an asset price bubble in the late 1980s that required a protracted period of time for firms to reduce excess debt, capital, and labor. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, Japan in 2011 stood as the fourth-largest economy in the world after second-place China, which surpassed Japan in 2001, and third-place India, which edged out Japan in 2011. A sharp downturn in business investment and global demand for Japan's exports in late 2008 pushed Japan further into recession. Government stimulus spending helped the economy recover in late 2009 and 2010, but the economy contracted again in 2011 as the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake in March disrupted manufacturing. Electricity supplies remain tight because Japan has temporarily shut down almost all of its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors were crippled by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. Estimates of the direct costs of the damage - rebuilding homes, factories, and infrastructure - range from $235 billion to $310 billion, and GDP declined almost 0.5% in 2011. Prime Minister Yoshihiko NODA has proposed opening the agricultural and services sectors to greater foreign competition and boosting exports through membership in the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and by pursuing free-trade agreements with the EU and others, but debate continues on restructuring the economy and reining in Japan's huge government debt, which exceeds 200% of GDP. Persistent deflation, reliance on exports to drive growth, and an aging and shrinking population are other major long-term challenges for the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
$4.497 trillion (2011 est.)
$4.339 trillion (2009 est.)
data are in 2011 US dollars
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GDP (official exchange rate)
$5.869 trillion (2011 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
-0.7% (2011 est.)
-5.5% (2009 est.)
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GDP - per capita (PPP)
$35,200 (2011 est.)
$34,000 (2009 est.)
data are in 2011 US dollars
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GDP - composition by sector
agriculture:
1.2%
industry:
27.3%
services:
71.6% (2011 est.)
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Labor force
65.93 million (2011 est.)
rank:
9
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture:
3.9%
industry:
26.2%
services:
69.8% (2010 est.)
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Unemployment rate
4.6% (2011 est.)
5.1% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line
16% (2007)
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) press release, 20 October 2009 (2010)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%:
1.9%
highest 10%:
27.5% (2008)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
37.6 (2008)
24.9 (1993)
Investment (gross fixed)
20.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
rank:
86
Budget
revenues:
$1.971 trillion
expenditures:
$2.495 trillion (2011 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
33.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
rank:
72
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-8.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
rank:
191
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Public debt
211.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
200% of GDP (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
-0.3% (2011 est.)
-0.7% (2010 est.)
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Central bank discount rate
0.3% (31 December 2009)
0.3% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
1.5% (31 December 2011 est.)
1.475% (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$6.97 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$6.045 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of broad money
$14.46 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$15.43 trillion (31 December 2009)
Stock of domestic credit
$16.39 trillion (31 December 2008 est.)
$13.32 trillion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$3.541 trillion (31 December 2011)
$3.378 trillion (31 December 2009)
Agriculture - products
rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish
Industries
among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods
Industrial production growth rate
-3.5% (2011 est.)
rank:
158
Electricity - production
937.6 billion kWh (2011 est.)
rank:
3
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Electricity - consumption
859.7 billion kWh (2011 est.)
rank:
4
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Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2011 est.)
Oil - production
131,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)
rank:
48
Oil - consumption
4.452 million bbl/day (2010 est.)
rank:
4
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Oil - exports
366,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)
rank:
37
Oil - imports
4.394 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
rank:
4
Oil - proved reserves
44.12 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
rank:
80
Natural gas - production
3.397 billion cu m (2010 est.)
rank:
53
Natural gas - consumption
100.3 billion cu m (2010 est.)
rank:
6
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2010 est.)
rank:
121
Natural gas - imports
98.01 billion cu m (2010 est.)
rank:
4
Natural gas - proved reserves
20.9 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
rank:
76
Current account balance
$120.5 billion (2011 est.)
$195.8 billion (2010 est.)
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Exports
$788 billion (2011 est.)
$730.1 billion (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities
motor vehicles 13.6%; semiconductors 6.2%; iron and steel products 5.5%; auto parts 4.6%; plastic materials 3.5%; power generating machinery 3.5%
Exports - partners
China 19.7%, US 15.5%, South Korea 8%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Thailand 4.6% (2011)
Imports
$808.4 billion (2011 est.)
$639.1 billion (2010 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum 15.5%; liquid natural gas 5.7%; clothing 3.9%; semiconductors 3.5%; coal 3.5%; audio and visual apparatus 2.7%
Imports - partners
China 21.5%, US 8.9%, Australia 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, UAE 5%, South Korea 4.7% (2011)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$1.259 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.063 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)
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Debt - external
$2.719 trillion (30 June 2011)
$2.441 trillion (30 September 2010)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$148.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$145.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$873.3 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$795.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates
117.99 (2007)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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