Chart of the week: The human cost of stagnation

Suicide rate in Japan

One stark illustration of the years of stagnation in Japan is the country’s high level of suicide, which leapt in 1998, the year the economy really began to slump, says Jonathan Allum in an SMBC Nikko Capital Markets newsletter.

For 14 years in a row, there were over 30,000 suicides per year. But now, in a further sign that Japan’s prospects may finally be improving, the annual total has slid below that level and has been falling for four years.