Japan’s economy shrank more than estimated in the first quarter after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted production and prompted consumers to cut back spending, sending the nation to its third recession in a decade.While real GDP was down 3.7% in the quarter (annualized basis), nominal GDP was down an even higher 5.2% due to continued deflation. The chart below shows that nominal GDP is now at an almost 20 year low, hitting the lowest point since June 1991.
Gross domestic product contracted an annualized 3.7 percent in the three months through March, following a revised 3 percent drop in the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The median forecast of 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 1.9 percent drop.
The March disaster hit an economy already weighed down by years of deflation and subdued consumer spending.
For a country indebted with an increasing amount of nominal debt, it makes you wonder how they will ever be able to get out of this situation.