Japan’s nominal gross domestic product will be overtaken by Germany this year as it slips from No. 3 to No. 4 in the world on a U.S. dollar basis, according to new projections by the International Monetary Fund.

Nominal GDP describes the total market value of goods and services produced in a country, using current prices and without inflation adjustment.

Although Japan has experienced a prolonged period of low growth, it has held onto its place as the world's third-largest economy for more than a decade. Japan was previously the world's No. 2 economy after the United States, but ceded that position to China in 2010.