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Japan's Incredible Shrinking GDP

And you thought the U.S. had it bad: Japan’s economy contracted at a record pace from January to March, dropping 15.2 percent due to falling demand for exports and weak domestic demand. Exports fell by more than a quarter, the biggest drop on record, as global demand decreased due to the global slowdown. Japan’s economy fared worse than the other Group of Seven leading industrial powers—the U.S.’s economy shrank 6.1 percent during the first quarter while Germany’s shrank a record 14.4 percent—its worst since 1970, but still not as drastic a drop as Japan’s. But some hopeful news: economists think the export-reliant country’s economy might have bottomed out in the January-March period, and could rise a little next quarter.