December 26, 2013 12:14 am JST

Japan's per-capita GDP hit all-time high in 2012

TOKYO -- Japan's nominal gross domestic product per capita rose 0.6% to $46,537 in 2012, a record high for a third straight year, according to data released Wednesday by the Cabinet Office.

     Among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japan took 10th, up from No. 14 in 2011. But the higher figure in dollar terms largely reflected a strong yen, rather than an improvement in Japan's economic standing compared with the other nations.

     Japan's nominal GDP stood at $5.93 trillion in 2012, comprising 8.2% of the global tally, down 0.1 point on the year.

     In yen terms, Japan's per-capita GDP rose 0.7% to 3.71 million yen, gaining for the first time in two years as it bounced back from the steep decline that followed the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

     In 2012, the dollar traded at an average 79.80 yen, mostly unchanged on the year. On top of a strong yen, Japan advanced up the OECD list as a weak euro weighed down GDP in smaller eurozone nations such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

     The dollar has traded at the 97 yen level on average this year. With the Japanese currency having weakened around 20% against the greenback from 2012, Japan's GDP figure for 2013 is expected to contract in dollar terms.