Data out yesterday confirmed what many had feared: Italy saw a second consecutive quarter of negative growth in Q4 2018 (-0.2 versus -0.1 per cent in Q3), something which is unlikely to improve the rosy forecast for this year’s budget deficit presented in Brussels. This is at least the third time we’ve seen a recession since 2008; it is also the Eurozone’s third biggest economy. Economic growth for these countries was +0.2 per cent in Q4 2018, its slowest, and quite frankly a crawl, in 4 years. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he expected further contraction but that ‘’all the elements’’ were in place for a recovery in the second half of 2019. Manaña, jam tomorrow, it’ll be all right on the night-type of thinking that masquerades for economic policy these days.
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