Tokyo has the largest metropolitan economy in the world: its nominal GDP of around US$1.315 trillion is greater than Canada's economy, which is the 8th largest in the world, despite falling in ranks in recent years due to economic stagnation and currency fluctuations. In April 1995, due to excessively strong yen (79/dollar), greater Tokyo's GDP was valued at $1.9 trillion, then ranking fourth compared to nations in the world (after Germany and US) and larger than the 1995 nominal GDP of South Korea, China, and Taiwan combined, 28% of the entire nominal GDP of USA ($6.7 trillion then), and over 6% of world GDP at the time (By comparison, greater New York City, the next largest, makes only about 1.5% of world GDP, still immense for any one metro area). It is a major international finance center, is site of the headquarters of several of the world's largest investment banks and insurance companies, and serves as a hub for Japan's transportation, publishing, and broadcasting industries.
During the centralized growth of Japan's economy following World War II, many large firms moved their headquarters from cities such as Osaka (the historical commercial capital) to Tokyo, in an attempt to take advantage of better access to the government. This trend has begun to slow due to ongoing population growth in Tokyo and the high cost of living there.
Tokyo was rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the most expensive (highest cost-of-living) city in the world for 14 years in a row ending in 2006. Note that this is for living a Western corporate executive lifestyle. Many Japanese get by fine on a budget in Tokyo, underpinning the high national savings rate.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the second largest in the world currently by market capitalization of listed shares, at more than $4 trillion. Only the New York Stock Exchange is larger. However, its prominence has fallen significantly since early 1990's asset bubble peak, when it accounted for more than 60 percent of the entire world's stock market values.
Tokyo had 8,460 ha (20,900 acres) of agricultural land as of 2003, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, placing it last among the nation's prefectures. The farmland is concentrated in Western Tokyo. Perishables such as vegetables, fruits, and flowers can be conveniently shipped to the markets in the eastern part of the prefecture. Japanese leaf spinach and spinach are the most important vegetables; as of 2000, Tokyo supplied 32.5% of the Japanese leaf spinach sold at its central produce market.
With 36% of its area covered by forest, Tokyo has extensive growths of cryptomeria and Japanese cypress, especially in the mountainous western communities of Akiruno, Ōme, Okutama, Hachioji, Hinode, and Hinohara. Decreases in the price of lumber, increases in the cost of production, and advancing old age among the forestry population have resulted in a decline in Tokyo's output. In addition, pollen, especially from cryptomeria, is a major allergen for the nearby population centers.
Tokyo Bay was once a major source of fish. Presently, most of Tokyo's fish production comes from the outer islands, such as Izu Ōshima and Hachijōjima. Skipjack tuna, nori, and aji are among the ocean products.