Japan, the world’s second-largest developed economy and third overall, is on a path of narrow growth as rising prices and an uncertain global outlook moderate post-pandemic momentum. First-quarter GDP expanded faster than expected, boosted by strong consumer spending.
Unemployment in a country known for both lifelong employment and karoshi (death by overwork) is running at 2.5%. Japan’s seniors still populate the workforce, with half of Japanese aged between 65 and 69 employed at the end of 2021, the latest government figures available. However, the country is expected to face a shortage of over 6 million workers by the end of the decade; AI and robotics may well be the solution. The graying of Japan has also been a fiscal challenge, contributing to sky-high debt to GDP levels. The budget deficit is projected at 5.3% of GDP this year.
Read Michael’s full article on Forbes Asia here.