• Kyodo

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Capital spending by Japanese companies fell 3.5 percent in the third quarter compared with the previous year, marking the first drop in 13 quarters, government data showed Monday.

Investment by all nonfinancial sectors for such purposes as building factories and adding equipment from October to December totaled ¥11.63 trillion ($108 billion), according to the Finance Ministry.

Pretax profit at companies covered in the ministry’s survey fell 4.6 percent to ¥18.58 trillion, down for the third quarter straight.

Sales sank 6.4 percent to ¥347.83 trillion, falling for the second consecutive quarter.

The Cabinet Office is scheduled to release revised figures for quarterly gross domestic product next Monday, taking into account the latest capital spending figures.

Preliminary GDP data showed the world’s third-largest economy shrank by an annualized real 6.3 percent in the quarter, its sharpest contraction in 5½ years, following the Oct. 1 consumption tax hike and a devastating typhoon.

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