Japan’s recession was deeper than initially estimated as company investment unexpectedly shrank, a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he campaigns for re-election on his economic credentials.
The economy contracted an annualized 1.9 percent in the July to September period from the previous quarter, weaker than the 1.6 percent drop reported in preliminary data. The result was also below every forecast in a Bloomberg News survey that showed a median 0.5 percent decrease.
The surprise decline in business investment sapped the strength of the world’s third-biggest economy, compounding damage from a slump in consumer spending after a sales-tax rise in April. With the main opposition party caught unprepared, Abe is on-track to win the Dec. 14 election, even as a decline in the yen cuts into people’s spending power.