Macro Briefing: 17 March 2023

* China President Xi to visit Putin in Russia next week
* Poland to be first NATO country to provide military jets to Ukraine
* Protests erupt after Macron orders pension reforms without vote in parliament.
* First Republic Bank set to receive cash infusion from largest US banks
* US import prices decline in February, second monthly slide
* Philly Fed Mfg Index continues to reflect hefty decline in March business activity
* US jobless claims fell last week, continue to indicate tight labor market
* US housing starts rebound in February to 5-month high:

The US economy will probably grow in the first quarter of the 2023, but the current banking turmoil raises the risk of recession, says Richard Clarida, global economic adviser at Pimco and a former Fed vice chair. “I don’t think of this as being equivalent to Lehman, or 9/11, or Iraq invading Kuwait,” he advises, referring to SVB’s collapse. “But whatever your views were on the odds of a recession before this, they’ve probably gone up.” He adds: “You’ve now got an additional confidence challenge, which is the confidence of the bankers to extend credit.”