Macro Briefing: 13 January 2023

* IMF expects world economy will start to rebound later this year
* Fed officials signal softer rate hike ahead but no cut
* Attorney general appoints special prosecutor to investigate Biden documents
* Europe’s mild winter softens economic blowback from Ukraine war
* China exports fall less than expected in December
* Germany’s economy slowed less than expected in 2022
* UK economy unexpectedly grew in November
* Many of the largest stock and bond index funds have underperformed recently
* US jobless claims edge lower in kick-off week to new year
* US consumer inflation continues to cool in December:

Is it time to declare victory in the war on inflation? Not yet, but that point is near, says an economist. “If they’re doing a forecast, which is what they should be doing, it strongly argues that their rate increases should be coming to an end soon,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “There’s nothing not to like about this report. Inflation is going to come [down] here.”

Encouraging inflation report for December strengthens outlook for softer 1/4-point interest-rate hike. Fed funds futures are pricing in high odds that the central bank will lift its target rate by 25-basis-points at the upcoming Feb. 1 FOMC meeting. “In my view, hikes of 25 basis points will be appropriate going forward,” says Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker.