Japan's GDP to be overtaken by Germany in 2023, IMF forecasts

Dollar-denominated figures reflect Japan's long-term woes, worsened by weak yen

TOKYO, Oct 25 (Nikkei) - Germany's nominal gross domestic product is likely to overtake Japan's this year, with the weak yen and inflation in Europe pushing up the value of Germany's gross domestic product in U.S. dollar terms, according to a forecast by the International Monetary Fund.

The figures were presented in the fund's recently published World Economic Outlook. Nominal GDP indicates the level of economic activity in a country or region, including changes in the prices of goods and services. It is often used as an indicator of the size of a country's economy.

The forecast highlighted the long-term weakness of the Japanese economy.

According to the report, Japan's nominal GDP -- that is, unadjusted for inflation -- is expected to fall 0.2%, year-on-year, to $4.23 trillion in 2023, while Germany's is forecast to expand 8.4% to $4.42 trillion. The U.S., the world's largest economy, is expected to grow 5.8% to $26.94 trillion. China's economy, the world's second-largest, is forecast to shrink 1.0% to $17.7 trillion.

In 2000, Japan's economy was the second-largest in the world, at $4.96 trillion, which is larger than it is today. At the time, its economy was 2.5 times bigger than that of Germany and 4.1 times bigger than China's. At the beginning of that year, the exchange rate was about 105 yen per dollar. China overtook Japan and moved into second place in 2010. By the end of this year, its economy is forecast to be 4.2 times larger than Japan's. ...continue reading