Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Economic Effects and Implications for the United States [April 6, 2011] [open pdf - 581KB]
"The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan followed by a nuclear crisis and shortage of electricity is having a large negative economic impact on the country but a lesser effect on world markets. Japan has lost considerable physical and human capital. Physical damage has been estimated as ranging from $250 billion1 to as much as $309 billion,2 the latter figure being nearly four times as much as Hurricane Katrina ($81 billion) and roughly equivalent to the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of Greece and twice that of New Zealand. In excess of 27,000 persons in Japan are killed or missing, and more than 146,000 homes and other buildings have been totally or partially damaged.3 Analysts expect that over the next quarter or so, Japan's economy will contract, but may expand because of rebuilding activity later in the year and into 2012. As the third-largest economy in the world, Japan's GDP at $5.5 trillion accounts for 8.7% of global GDP. Congressional interest centers on humanitarian concerns, the impact on U.S. citizens and American companies in Japan, and the effects of the disaster on the exchange of both goods and services, and on Japanese and U.S. financial markets, interest rates, and the yen-dollar exchange rate."
CRS Report for Congress, R41702