The health of the global economy isn't just a matter of cold, hard numbers.
Politics have a big impact too.
Just look at the sequester debate in Washington.
In Europe – which is still grappling with its massive debt crisis – there's another political deadline looming: the elections this weekend in Italy.
And the economy is very much on the minds of Italian voters, after a year of massive budget cuts and tax hikes, pushed through by Italy's current prime minister, the economist Mario Monti.
Monti is not the current front runner.
Former communist Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the left-leaning Democratic Party, is in the lead.
Though, his lead in the polls is shrinking, in part because many voters find him boring.
But columnist Gianni Riotta— who writes for the Italian newspaper La Stampa— says Bersani isn't in it for the popularity.