Macro Briefing: 18 August 2023

* Markets starting to realize that interest rates could stay higher for longer
* US Leading Economic Index for July continues to forecast elevated recession risk
* Philly Fed Mfg Index rebounds in August, hints at recovery for sector
* China property developer Evergrande files for bankruptcy in US
* US jobless claims edge down, continue to indicate labor market resiliency:

US mortgage rates rose to highest level in more than 20 years, based on the average for the popular 30-year fixed mortgage, which edged up to 7.09% this week. “I think what we’re seeing is the Fed’s efforts to crush inflation are in turn starting to crush demand,” National Association of Home Builders CEO Jim Tobin tells Yahoo Finance. Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist, advises: “We can’t be sure where rates may go in the future. But if rates don’t drop sharply from today, refinance volume is likely to remain near historical low levels and the mortgage rate lock-in effect is the largest ever — further reducing already the slim inventory of for-sale homes.”