Industrial production and national debt 1980 - 2022

Japan: Early structural changes in the course of industrial production

The industrial production in Japan since 1980, i.e. in the last 40 years, is showing changes in a manner that can also be determined in other industrial countries. Therefore we compare here the development in Japan, the world-wide third biggest economy, with that of the other industrial countries discovering similarities and differences.

The current development of Japan's industrial production covers the article about the outlook of the world economy.

Japanese Yen

Update May 15th, 2023 - The article in this magazine „Structural changes in the course of the industrial production of the industrial countries since 1980“ states at first that the industrial production in the industrial countries had altogether continuously grown in the twenty-year-old period from 1980 to 2000.


Such a continuous growth of the industrial production occurred also in Japan; however, it took not twenty years as in the other industrial countries but only ten years ending 1991. The following diagram makes it clear.

Since the year 2000 the industrial production in the other industrial countries has been showing structural changes, combined with a galloping nationa debt. Briefly summarized:

  1. The impact of the economic crisis 2008/2009 is unique within the last 37 years.
  2. The duration between two crises is cut into halves from ten to five years and
  3. The duration of the crises is extending from two to three up to six years and partly even longer.
  4. Galloping national debt subsequent to the world economic crisis.


All four structural changes apply also to Japan, however, in intensified form.

Japan's industrial production from 1980 to 2022.

Extension of the crisis duration, starting earlier, lasting longer

The economic crisis 2008/2009 dampened the industrial production in Japan on a level (89.4 index points in 2009), not seen 22 years ago, i.e. 86.9 index points in 1987. That was the sharpest decrease among the industrialized countries.


The crisis cycle in Japan changed already in the 1990s. During this period it took six years until the peak value of the industrial production in 1991 (106.6) was exceeded, i.e. in 1997 by 1.1 index points (107.7). Then the industrial production sank immediately again to achieve again a higher value only eight years later in 2005, i.e. by 1.2 index points higher to 108.9.


While the crisis duration in the industrialized countries extended to more than two to three years only in the last 10 years, it showed in Japan already a value of six years during the 1990s expanding later to eight years.


It took even fifteen years until the industrial production achieved a new peak value after its high in 1991, a peak value, two index points and more above the former high of the industrial production. That was only the case in 2005 with 108.9 index points.


So the extension of the crisis duration started in Japan one decade earlier being with six, eight or fifteen years by now seriously above that in the other industrialized countries.


The described changes in the crisis cycle of the industrial production are accompanied by a galloping national indebtedness.

Stagnating industrial production, galloping national debt

Not accidentally the strong rise of the indebtedness starts with the setback in production 1992. Up to the year 2000 ten economic stimulation programs were presented (FAZ from 20.10.2000, No. 244, p.13), further followed in later years like at the beginning of 2013 for 173bn euro (Spiegel online 11.01.2013).


The diagram below shows the galloping national indebtedness as percentage of the gross national product until 2020.

National debt of Japan from 1990 to 2020.

During the 30 years from 1990 to 2020, the national debt quadrupled.

A comparison with the development of the industrial production does not show the desired effect, the industrial production is stagnating while national indebtedness galloping.

USA: Utilization of capacity

Utilization of capacity 1967 - 2022: Long-term decrease

China's quarterly industrial production 2023

China's quarterly growth 2023: Rollercoster ride since 2020