Italy is a real source of concern. Since the peak, in January 2018, the Markit index falls down. In January 2019 it is its fourth month under the 50 threshold. It was at 47.8 in January. We see the consistency of this index with the GDP quarterly change. The GDP change was negative in the last two quarters and will probably be negative in the first quarter of this year. Currently the carry over growth is negative for 2019 at the end of 2018 at -0.2%. It means that the government forecast at 1% is too optimistic (Conte, the prime minister, was still expecting 1.5% last week in an interview). The Italian central bank and the IMF with 0.6% are also probably too optimistic.
This means that the agreement between the Italian government and the European Commission was a joke. The public deficit will be closer to 3% of GDP rather than the 2% contained in the agreement.
Globally the main source of concern is Asia. The four main Asian countries are going into a manufacturing recession. This trend was already seen on the Asian contribution to world trade which became negative in November and December. The Markit figures for January suggest that the Asian contribution to the world trade will continue to shrink. Therefore the main source of momentum for the global economy will no longer be a strong and robust contributor . The situation is worrisome.