Japan’s economy shrank at the sharpest pace since the height of the pandemic, an outcome that complicates the policy path for the Bank of Japan amid soaring speculation it is edging closer to scrapping the world's last negative rate regime.

Gross domestic product contracted at an annualized 2.9% in the three months through September from the previous quarter as households reined in spending, revised figures from the Cabinet Office showed Friday.

The updated figure marked the deepest drop since spring 2020 and compared with a preliminary reading of minus 2.1% and consensus estimates of a slightly narrower contraction.