“Is Japanese economy good or bad right now?”
Lately, whenever I meet people, I’ve been asking these questions. Personally, I haven’t heard anything positive, and I haven’t heard anything good about the economy from those around me. On the other hand, the government is rapidly announcing measures that would only be possible in a booming economy, such as the government deciding to return increased tax revenues and requesting the business community to raise wages.
“Maybe the economy around me is in recession, and the economy as a whole is booming?”
Such doubts mixed with anxiety were running through my mind.
According to preliminary GDP figures for the July-September period released by the Cabinet Office, it was down 0.5% from the previous quarter, or 2.1% on an annualized basis. In short, the economy is not doing well.
This summer was a summer with no restrictions on movement, dismissing the coronavirus pandemic. Although expectations were high for strong personal consumption, the economy was pushed down by people trying to save money due to rising prices, and the result was negative compared to the previous quarter, which was in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Without realizing it, I am becoming more frugal. Originally, I had a policy of not owning things I didn’t need, but I started trying to use existing items for as long as possible, even if I needed them. Although some eco-consciousness is at play, there is still a strong defensive instinct against rapidly rising prices.
I started using my clothes and underwear instead of throwing them away, even if they were a little tatty. Up until now, I had replaced my smartphone once every three years, but from now on I would like to keep it for five years.
The reason why I have this mindset is because Japanese people today, including myself, don’t have the new products and services that we desperately want. Buy what you want even if prices are high.
Even if we raise wages and reduce taxes, we cannot change our lifestyles where we continue to save money and use necessities economically if we don’t have what we want.
The only way to stimulate consumption is to create attractive new products and services that will resonate. In other words, return to the royal road. (Kei Kitajima)