Macro Briefing: 22 July 2022

* European Central Bank raises interest rates more than expected
* Eurozone appears to slip into recession in July via PMI survey data
* UK economy continues to grow in July but at 17-month low via PMI survey data
* US Leading Economic Index declines for fourth straight month
* Russia-Ukraine deal expected to restart grain exports
* Federal gov’t tells states in West to make urgent cuts in water use
* US jobless claims rise to new 8-month high, signaling labor market warning:

Conference Board expects US “economic growth will continue to cool throughout 2022,” based on the decline in the consultancy’s Leading Economic Index, which fell in June for a fourth straight month. “A US recession around the end of this year and early next is now likely,” says a CB researcher. “Accordingly, we’ve downgraded our forecast of 2022 annual Real GDP growth to 1.7 percent year-over-year (from 2.3 percent), while 2023 growth was downgraded to 0.5 percent YOY (from 1.8 percent).”

China is quietly trimming its massive portfolio of US Treasuries, cutting its bond holdings to lowest level since 2010. “China wants to globalize its currency, RMB, and have a more independent monetary policy of its own,” says Tenpao Lee, professor emeritus of economics at Niagara University. “Therefore, China has begun to diversify its international reserves with other currencies such as EURO, Japanese Yen, and British Pound since 2018. Moreover, China expedited this policy in 2022 by selling the U.S. Treasuries without specific reasons.”