Macro Briefing: 12 December 2022

* Slowing growth now tops inflation as main concern for markets
* Treasury Sec. Yellen is “hopeful” that inflation has peaked
* Breakthrough reported in fusion energy by US scientists
* World will get more power from solar vs. coal in 3 years, IEA predicts
* This week’s Fed meeting will be closely watched for signals on rates outlook
* China scraps virus-tracking app as part of dismantling of zero-Covid policy
* China announces first delivery of its new domestically produced passenger jet
* Investors are increasingly inclined to expect a soft landing for US economy
* US consumer sentiment rises in December but remains near historical lows:

Inflation has peaked, but will remain above pre-Covid levels in 2023, predicts David Mann, chief economist for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at the Mastercard Economics Institute. “We do expect that we go back down in the direction of where we were back in 2019 where we were still debating how many countries needed negative interest rates.”

Expectations focus on hawkish talk at this week’s Federal Reserve press conference and another rate hike, which contrasts with rising stocks and bonds since the last FOMC meeting. “This has been a struggle for this FOMC the whole year,” says Jan Groen, chief US macro strategist at TD Securities. Fed Chairman “Powell had to come out at Jackson Hole with a big speech and we had this super hawkish press conference in November. And then again, they lost control of it. So I think, again, he has to do something similar.”