GDP Data redux: homework for Thur

Go to the Japanese government web site for GDP data — http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/. Ah, switch languages to English (you need to get over the shock of seeing Japanese pop up). There’s a news release, but as practice look for the statistics link and see what other data this site has. It’ll guide you to the SNA data, the “here” will take you to the top page for such data.

In the US the official name is NIPA (Natl Income and Product Accounts) but for Japan (and most other countries) it’s the SNA (System of National Accounts), drawing upon work by an international coordinating group at the UN that helps countries avoid having to reinvent the wheel. (The US and UK were first movers, and at least the US remains idiosyncratic for certain details.)

Look for the time series data that you can load into Excel and not the pdf files; that may take clicking on a few links to locate the proper one. The files are .CSV but can be opened by excel — but save them as .xls right away!Use quarterly data.

That will let you examine what’s happened to GDP since 1994.

  1. what do you want to look at — nominal or real? seasonally adjusted or not?
  2. do you want to look at levels or at rates of change?
  3. how about trade — what is the level of exports/gdp? how has that changed over time?

Can you find 3/11 in these data?

Note that the Annual Reports contain more detailed tables, including ones on national wealth under the “stock” accounts. The quick number for 2010 is ¥2,700,000 billion vs GDP of ¥500,000 billion or about 5x GDP. Fixed assets are 1,500,000 or 3x GDP. So earthquake losses of ¥16,900 billion are a “mere” 1% of fixed assets. The largest loss (¥10.4 trillion) was of buildings.

==> But what of indirect losses? How might we measure those? <==

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