Thursday, February 17, 2005


Just a few days ago, somewhere in my ridiculously eclectic reading spectrum I read that Japan had had several successive improving whatevers (pick any economic unit) and so the sunlit nation had turned the corner economically into a newdawn future that was rosy and bright, blah blah blah, not fraught with any imminence of economic chaos or social anarchy whatsoever, blah blah blah (I'm paraphrasing here)... I think it was a government official, so it didn’t make me feel better, because unlike a government official, there is a reality around me; I can see the faces, hear the conversations, check the price tags...

Then this morning, only a couple of days later, I read this in the paper: “the nation’s [Japan’s] gross domestic product fell for the third straight quarter... this is the first time in three years that the economy shrank for more than three consecutive quarters.” And “...the GDP deflator for the quarter dropped 0.3 percent, showing that the economy has not overcome deflation.”

Much simpler than the GDP deflator is just for those guys to put down their Blackberries once in a while and get out of the office, just drive out of the city and visit the farm store. Shiitake logs that were 1000 yen last year are less than 500 yen this year... 0.3%, huh? I think that deflator is inflated.

Mind you, as one who is in the market for shiitake logs, I'm not complaining...

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