Business

Will China fall flat on its face just like Japan?

  • 31 October 2012
  • From the section Business
Godzilla (left) and Chinese dragon

In the late 80s, Japan was the Godzilla economy.

Its output had grown 50-fold in dollar terms in the space of just over a generation, and Japan had seemingly overtaken the US as the most hi-tech nation. For many observers it was just a matter of a decade or so before Japan would become the world's biggest economy and its third superpower.

But, of course, things didn't turn out that way. Instead, in 1990 Japan's stock market and property market both crashed spectacularly, leaving two decades (and counting) of economic stagnation in their wake.

The more recent giddy rise of China's dragon economy is chillingly familiar.

And many sceptical commentators have drawn the analogy with Japan, saying it is destined for a fall. But is this fair?

We have put the two head-to-head, so you can decide: