Macro Briefing: 1 March 2024

* Immigration is a key reason for US economic recovery from the pandemic
* China’s factory activity contracts for fifth straight month in February
* India is ‘easily’ the fastest growing economy in the world: IMF executive
* US jobless claims rose last week but remain historically low
* US pending home sales in January fall the most since August
* US inflation picked up as real consumer spending slowed in January:

Ray Dalio advises that the US stock market doesn’t appear to be in a bubble. Using a multi-factor model, the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates writes: “I apply these criteria to all markets to see if they’re in bubbles. When I look at the US stock market using these criteria (see the chart below), it—and even some of the parts that have rallied the most and gotten media attention—doesn’t look very bubbly. The market as a whole is in mid-range (52nd percentile). As shown in the charts, these levels are not consistent with past bubbles.”