Japan unexpectedly slipped into a recession in the third quarter, two years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected on the promise of reviving its economy with a massive monetary stimulus and reforms. The gross domestic product for the world’s third-largest economy shrank by an annualized 1.6 percent in July through September. A hike in the sales tax is blamed for clobbering consumer spending and shrinking GDP. Abe was set to press a second, and unpopular, sales tax hike, but media is reporting that he could delay the tax for up to 18 months. Abe is also expected to call elections two years before the 2016 deadline, while he is still relatively popular.