Is the U.S. becoming Japan?
Japan has long been known as an example of what can happen when you allow deflation to happen in an economy which is highly reliant on persistent inflation to sustain itself. What is happening in Japan is one of the reasons that the Federal Reserve is trying so hard to avoid deflation in the US.
Japan is in a challenging economic situation. This is mainly due to their demographics. They have an aging population, where the amount of elderly people is quite a bit larger than the younger generations. Anecdotally, in 2011 sales of adult diapers exceeded the amount for baby diapers.10. The chart below shows the demographics of Japan during 3 periods of time with approximately 50 years in between. A shrinking population can become a problem in an economy because it is a strong deflationary force. Japan has an aging population which will only continue to shrink over the next few decades. While other developed nations have stagnant or slow growing populations, this is not ideal for an expanding economy.