To say I've become skeptical of 'markets' and their movements is probably an understatement. However, rather than waste more time trying to make sense of these skewed markets, I believe real economic activity is more accurately represented by changing populations and their energy consumption.
So today, we'll play a little "To Tell The Truth", an old television show where two imposters could lie but one contestant had to tell the truth. The celebs would ask questions and then attempt to pick which contestant was the real deal. I'll lay out the data and let you determine how well this lines up with non-stop narrative of record market valuations and stories of strong economic activity.
I'll start with Japan and work my up progressively larger. The population data is from the UN and I use the 15 to 60 year old population to avoid speculation about changing birth rates over the next fifteen years. Energy data is from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and their projections using their IEO'17 (International Energy Outlook, 2017) models.