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Japan slides back into economic recession

Japan's economy has shrunk for two successive quarters, sending the country into technical recession. The disappointing performance is a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" strategy.

Japan's economy shrank in the July-September quarter as domestic demand declined, sending the nation back into technical recession, according to government figures released Monday.

Gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 0.8 percent in the third quarter from July to September, following a 1.2-percent decline in the previous quarter.

Tokyo stocks fell almost 1 percent Monday morning after the gloomy data was released.

The disappointing results may put pressure on the government and central bank to

implement further monetary and fiscal stimulus measures,

although economists are predicting GDP to grow in the current quarter, which runs through the end of this year.

Troubled 'Abenomics'

But the figures are certainly a further sign that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's set of economic policies, dubbed

"Abenomics,"

have failed to put the world's third-largest economy back on a path to sustained growth.

The economy suffered a brief recession last year, amid a controversial sales tax increase in April.

On a positive note, Monday's numbers did show the Japanese public is spreading its money around more. The government has been encouraging companies to increase wages in negotiations that happen early next year, another move that could encourage consumer spending.

jar/cmk (dpa, AFP, AP)

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