The above chart shows the total retail trade for Japan going back 40 years. We can break this chart down into three areas:
1.) 1970-1990: increasing retail trade and demand in the economy
2.) 1990-1997: stagnation of activity around the 110 level
3.) 1997-today: stagnation of activity around the 100 level, although recent events are encouraging.
The above shows the total private final consumption expenditures for Japan. This chart shows the stagnation in demand as well.
The above charts couldn't be clearer: the lack of overall demand in the Japanese economy is a big reason for their sluggish overall GDP growth of the last 20 years (for more on this, see this post from yesterday).
I'm on Linked In and Twitter (@captivelawyer). Silver Oz's Linked In name is @silver_oz. NDD is a fossil and may be reached by etching a picture in stone on the wall of a cave.
The Bonddad Economic History Project
At the beginning of 2012, I decided to start looking at the actual, statistical history of the US economy starting in 1950. The reason is simple: to find out what really happened. So, when you see title of a post that begins with a year such as 1957, followed by "employment" or "Fed policy: you know what it's for. You can also access the information by typing in BE for Bonddad econ and a year to find information on a particular year.
Here is a link to pages that contain links to all the posts on the years listed.