Japan's economy shrank in the July-September quarter as domestic demand declined, sending the nation into a technical recession. The numbers from the Cabinet Office on Monday showed that gross domestic product, the value of a nation's goods and services, declined at an annualized pace of 0.8 percent in the third quarter, and contracted a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent from the previous quarter. That meant the world's third-biggest economy slipped into a technical recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction, because it had contracted in the second quarter as well. The government showed in its preliminary GDP estimates that domestic demand fell 1.2 percent at an annual rate, as businesses held back on investments. Japan has been slipping in and out of such periods of contractions, while eking out growth in between. Weak GDP numbers could prompt fresh government stimulus measures. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly promised to wrest Japan out of the doldrums and show GDP can stay in positive territory, a challenge for an industrialized economy like Japan that relies on exports for growth and whose population is aging.