CHART OF THE DAY: Actually, The U.S. Has Looked Like Japan For a Long Time

button more charts
button chart prev
button chart next

Want to get the Chart Of The Day a day earlier? Sign up for our Chart of the Day email.

The Japanese economy has long been locked in a period of anemic growth, blamed by analysts such as Richard Koo of Nomura on its lengthy deleveraging process.

But what if that problem is being overestimated, and Japan’s real problem lay with its ageing population instead?

According to HSBC, while deleveraging certainly matters, demographics may be the more important factor in Japan’s slowdown.

Just look at Japan’s GDP per capita (in red) compared to the U.S. (black). Yes, the slowdown from 1996-2000 was a Japanese only affair, but otherwise the two economies move very much in sync when population is considered.

For those worried about the U.S. turning Japanese, don’t fret. We may already be.

chart of the day, us vs japan gdp per capita, jan 2011