Japan's government confirmed on Monday that the country's economy contracted 3.5 percent in the third quarter compared with the July-September period of 2011.

An upward revision in the figure for capital spending was not enough to change November's initial negative GDP estimate.

Indeed, the government adjusted downward the GDP number for the second quarter: from a gain of 0.1 percent to a decline of 0.03 percent.

The latest statistics increased fears of a new recession in Japan, as most analysts expect further contraction in the fourth quarter.

The government approved early this month an economic stimulus package valued at more than 8 billion euros ($10.3 billion) that officials said would add an extra 0.2 percent to Japan's GDP.

Japanese voters will go to the polls next Sunday to elect a new government and surveys indicate that former Premier Shinzo Abe, leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, is likely to prevail.

Abe, who governed in 2006-2007 supports aggressive monetary policy to overcome the chronic deflation that has kept the world's third-largest economy in the doldrums for much of the last two decades. EFE