Japan's economy contracted at an annual rate of 3.5% in the latest quarter, sparking concerns of a sustained regional slowdown.
The GDP figures, reported Monday by Japan's Cabinet Office, were worse than economists had expected, and indicated the most dramatic contraction since the country was hit by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.
The negative 3.5% rate for July to September is also far worse than the revised 0.3% annual growth rate for the previous quarter. Japan's Nikkei closed down almost 1% in trading in Tokyo.
The world's third-largest economy, Japan risks slipping into recession if the economy remains in contraction during the current quarter. Some economists have warned that scenario looks increasingly likely.
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