Japan has entered its fourth recession since the financial crisis of 2008, according to growth figures for the third quarter, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies fail to hit the mark.

Asia’s second largest economy shrunk by 0.8 percent between July and September, plunging the country back into recession.

Tokyo has been following a set of economic policies named ‘Abenomics’, involving mass government spending, central bank bond-buying and significant economic restructuring. However, further disappointing figures have led to speculation as to whether these policies are right for the Japanese economy.

Akira Amari, Japan’s economic minister, cited a shortage of labour available for public works projects to stimulate the economy as one reason for the slow recovery.

However, the government maintained its cautiously upbeat outlook in a statement, saying that despite some weaknesses, the economy continued to recover moderately on improvements in job and income conditions.

“While there are risks such as overseas developments, we expect the economy to head toward a moderate recovery thanks to the effect of the various (stimulus) steps taken so far.”

Japanese consumer prices are steadily growing and the country rose out of deflation earlier this year, and Japan’s GDP figures are looking positive.

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