Macro Briefing: 2 February 2023

* Ukraine says Russia preparing for ‘maximum escalation’ in the war
* US increases military presence in Philippines to strengthen Asia influence
* Biden and McCarthy meet to discuss debt ceiling but no agreement announced
* Global manufacturing contraction shows signs of easing in January
* US job openings post surprising gain in December
* Construction spending for US is surprisingly weak in December
* US manufacturing activity continues sinking in January via ISM survey data
* Federal Reserve raises interest rates by 1/4 point as…
* Fed’s Powell says central bank not done lifting rates yet
* US hiring at companies slows sharply in January, ADP reports:

The rally in stock and bond markets in January suggests that investors are skeptical that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates. “The markets are calling their bluff,” says Johan Grahn, head of exchange-traded funds at Allianz Investment Management. Morningstar’s head of US economics forecasts that the Fed’s rate hikes are over. “We believe the Fed is likely done with its rate hike campaign after the February meeting,” advises Preston Caldwell. “Ongoing data showing a drop in inflation, along with slowing economic growth, will induce the Fed to pivot to driving interest rates lower. We expect the Fed to even begin cutting the fed-funds rate before the end of 2023.”