According to data compiled by Bloomberg?

Unless I’m becoming senile (very possible), a recent Bloomberg article is total nonsense:

The Land of the Rising Sun experienced its largest decline in population last year, or more than 500,000 annually to 125.4 million, and residents are living longer than 84 years on average (fourth among 240 countries). And yet, the No. 3 economy had the most significant per capita increase in gross domestic product between 2013 and 2022 in local currency terms. That 62% appreciation to 4.72 million yen ($32,000) as the size of its society shrank 2% easily surpassed the US (16% with a 6% rise in population), Canada (45% and 12%), UK (48% and 5%) Germany (32% and 5%), France (33% and 3%) and Italy (30% and -1%), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

What???? Those figures don’t seem even close to being accurate. US per capita nominal GDP growth has vastly exceeded growth in Japan. What am I missing here?

(Even if you used real GDP, the figures would be nonsense. But the article says “local currency terms”.)

PS. Is this the same Bloomberg unit that told us last October there was a 100% chance of a US recession within 12 months?

A US recession is effectively certain in the next 12 months in new Bloomberg Economics model projections . . . with the 12-month estimate of a downturn by October 2023 hitting 100%, up from 65% for the comparable period in the previous update.



12 Responses to “According to data compiled by Bloomberg?”

  1. Gravatar of Gordon Gordon
    25. September 2023 at 13:25

    Yeah, the Bloomberg analysts screwed up big time. Using the nominal GDP data from the FRED db for Q4 2022 and Q4 2012 and using the Japanese population for those respective years, I get only a 15% increase in per capita nominal income over that time span.

  2. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    25. September 2023 at 13:39

    Sounds like Bloomberg either needs more AI or should stop letting AI do their stats.

  3. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    25. September 2023 at 13:54

    SS: “Unless I’m becoming senile (very possible)” – very possible. SS: “What???? Those figures don’t seem even close to being accurate. US per capita nominal GDP growth has vastly exceeded growth in Japan. What am I missing here?” – data? What are your sources? Who to trust, Bloomberg’s professional journalists or some guy on his ‘throwaway’ ‘joke’ blog, by his own admission?

    @msgkings – I see you have nothing better to do than hang out here.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. September 2023 at 13:55

    Glad to hear I’m not quite senile.

    It doesn’t bother me that they’d get the figures wrong (I’ve done that), what bothers me is that they’d have someone write an article on a topic that they know absolutely nothing about. You should look up the data AFTER you’ve already established that Japan’s been growing many times faster than the US. But who would make that assumption? It’s obviously false.

  5. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    25. September 2023 at 14:15

    @Ray Lopez:

    I know you’re doing schtick but coming into a place and making fun of the people who are hanging out there with you is a big self-own.

    But keep going, I still miss Don Rickles.

  6. Gravatar of David S David S
    26. September 2023 at 20:26

    One reasonable explanation is that Bloomberg is using the same accountants and financial analysts who helped the Trump Organization establish property valuations. People make mistakes with numbers, ya know?

  7. Gravatar of steve steve
    27. September 2023 at 05:04

    msgkings – you hockey puck!

  8. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    27. September 2023 at 11:56


    Thumbs up!

  9. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    27. September 2023 at 16:34

    It looks like Japan’s per capita real income, expressed in local current currency, rose by about 20% from 2000 to present.

    Go to Trading Economics, and punch in GDP per capita constant LCU


    International comparisons are always rife with caveats.

    For example, one nation might have higher per capita incomes, but if 20% of household income is spent on security services, then you standard of living is actually lower.

    People in Los Angeles pay $2,300 for a one-bedroom apartment. Maybe 25% to 30% of that to rent a similar apartment in Osaka, and the streets are safe.

    It appears in last 23 years Japan, contrary to orthodoxy, has moved ahead of the US in living standards and certainly in civility.

    I wish I had been born in Japan. They won the lottery.

  10. Gravatar of Solon of the East Solon of the East
    27. September 2023 at 16:49

    “local constant currency”

  11. Gravatar of Rafael Rafael
    28. September 2023 at 06:23

    They’re doing it in yen rather than dollars, Yen depreciated massively 2013-2015 that’s all its picking up. Plus there’s cherry picking the starts dates,(see the fred chart linked) if you start the calculation in 2007 instead of 2013 theres essentialy 0 growth.

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    28. September 2023 at 17:45

    Rafael, Yes, in yen not dollars. Which is my point—the figures cited are nonsense. It’s up less than 20% in yen terms.

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