Japan’s economy contracted in the final three months of 2015 as the nation struggles to break free of a cycle of expansion and contraction despite more than three years of the Abenomics program.

Gross domestic product shrank an annualized 1.4 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, following a revised 1.3 percent gain in the third quarter, the Cabinet Office said on Monday in Tokyo. The median estimate of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 0.8 percent decline.

Weakness in private consumption was the biggest contributor to the contraction, undermining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies to spur inflation and growth in the world’s third-largest economy. The yen appreciated 6.6 percent against the dollar this month even after increased monetary stimulus and attempts by government officials to quell its volatile rise.

The economy’s performance has see-sawed over the past three years since Abe returned as prime minister, even as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has ratcheted up monetary easing in concert with government efforts to spur higher wages, consumer spending and investment.

Source : Bloomberg