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  • A global economic powerhouse in decline.


  • The Japanese economy is no longer in the world's top three.


  • After contracting by 3.3% in the third quarter of last year, shrank by 4/10 of a percent in the fourth quarter - the recession -a surprise to analysts who had been predicting at least 1% of growth.


  • With total output for 2023 at $4.2 trillion, the Japanese economy has now fallen into fourth place globally behind Germany's 4.5 trillion.


  • Much of that loss in stature can be attributed to a falling Yen.


  • Japan's currency has lost more than 18% against the dollar over the past two years,


  • as the Bank of Japan bucked the global trend of central banks hiking interest rates to fight inflation instead of maintaining negative rates in a bid to raise stagnant wages and boost weak domestic demand for the export economy.


  • The latest data raises new doubts as to when and how the BOJ can exit its ultra-loose monetary policy.


  • Given the current prospects for future price movements, the accommodative financial environment is likely to continue for the time being even if the bank ends negative interest rates.


  • Germany's new status meanwhile comes with caveats, its economy too shrank in the final quarter of last year, Germany and Japan each face declining populations and labor shortages amid an aging workforce.


  • Their economies are both expected to be surpassed by India's in the coming years.


A global economic powerhouse in decline.


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