TOKYO: Japan's economy shrank by 3.3% in the final quarter of December 2008, a figure marking its worst performance for 35 years, and a rate of contraction tripling that of the ailing US economy over the same period.

The country's advertising market is forecast to decline by aroundĀ 3% this year, and Dentsu, Japan's largest advertising group, downgraded its revenue expectations due to "the increasingly cautious approach to advertising spending of its clients in response to the steep downturn in the economy."

A recent survey also predicted that over 1,000 of the biggest firms listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange will see theirĀ net profits fall by 80% for the fiscal year ending in March 2009.

Slowing exports was one of the major factors behind the decline in Q4 last year, which was the worst total figure since negative growth of 3.4% was recorded in 1974 following the Middle East oil shock.

A stimulus package drawn up by the Japanese government has still yet to be approved, while the Bank of Japan has reduced interests rate to just 0.1% in an attempt to drive consumer spending.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff