Factories cut production by 10%(!!!) in December after a horrible November.
Yves Smith on Naked Capitalism quotes Frank Veneroso on Japan:
I have been writing about an Asian black hole for almost two months now. I have been crying from the rooftops about an emerging depression in Japan. It has been as though a neutron bomb had gone off in the world. There was no one who seemed to notice, no one who seemed to listen.
Every week it gets worse and worse and worse. Today it was Japan….
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN DATA THIS BAD FOR ANY MAJOR ECONOMY – EVEN IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION. December industrial production came in down 9.6%, worse than the METI forecast. It is now down almost 21% year over year. METI forecasts a further 4.7% decline in February. The inventory to production ratio soared again. Maybe METI will be correct.
If it is, Japan industrial production will have fallen 28% (non annualized) in four months. It will have fallen by a third in about a year. Nothing in the history of major nations compares. A 28% decline in four months would be more than half of the entire decline in U.S. industrial production over the 3 years and nine months of the U.S. Great Depression.
It would be a greater decline in four months than in any 12 month period in the Great Depression in the U.S. We are literally looking at the unimaginable. (I am attaching the U.S. industrial production index from the Great Depression for comparison).
IT’S A DEPRESSION IN JAPAN – ALREADY – PURE AND SIMPLE.
In other cheerful news, Clusterstock has a little post linking to stories about China’s army preparing for civil unrest.
It is truly a world nearing the edge.
In the darkest corners of my mind, I fear that only war will ultimately settle what is quickly and steadily becoming a global economic catastrophe.