Japanese Wages Hit 20-Year Low. Chart Looks Like Cliff Dive : Planet Money Japanese workers brought in 7.1 percent less in June 2009 than the year before. The long view is frightening, writes one economist.
NPR logo Japanese Wages Hit 20-Year Low. Chart Looks Like Cliff Dive

Japanese Wages Hit 20-Year Low. Chart Looks Like Cliff Dive

'This is what a depression looks like, eh?' High Frequency Economics hide caption

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High Frequency Economics

Carl B. Weinberg of High Frequency Economics sends a bummer note this morning."The global economic downturn is not taking any time off for summer vacation," he writes. Global credit has stopped growing, he notes, and German retail spending is looking very 1990.

But that's nothing compared to the news out of Japan, where overall pay clocked in last month as the lowest in 20 years. Cash earnings are down 7.1 percent over June 2008, as companies cut summer bonuses by 17 percent. Wages were down 2.5 percent lower than May 2008. With less money in their pockets, Weinberg writes, Japanese families will be spending less for a long while. "This is what a depression looks like, eh?" he writes.