"Japanese Economy Crashes... Hard
Japan’s economy shrank at a record 15.2 percent annual pace last quarter as exports collapsed and consumers and businesses cut spending.Two areas of "growth" were imports (or the lack thereof - i.e. addition by less subtraction) and government consumption (well... sorta - it's that small light blue speck).
The contraction followed a revised fourth-quarter drop of 14.4 percent, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. Gross domestic product fell 3.5 percent in the year ended March 31, the most since records began in 1955, confirming that the recession is Japan’s worst in the postwar era.
Exports plunged an unprecedented 26 percent last quarter, forcing companies from Toyota Motor Corp. to Hitachi Ltd. to cut production, workers and wages. Stocks have gained 32 percent since reaching 26-year low in March on speculation worldwide interest-rate reductions and spending by governments will halt the slide in the world’s second-largest economy.
My overall take... whenever exports detract 10% and 15%, in back to back quarters, from an "export nation", things are worrisome.