Macro Briefing: 26 January 2024

* US jobless claims rose last week but remain low. But…
* Jobless claims may be an unreliable indicator of the labor market
* New US home sales rose more than expected in December
* Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index indicates softer growth in December
* Japan stock market approaching record high set in 1989
* US durable goods orders unchanged in December following November surge
* US GDP growth in Q4 beats expectations by wide margin:

US core PCE inflation in the fourth quarter rose at an annualized rate of 2.0% vs. Q3, matching the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation target for a second straight quarter. “This is the second quarter in a row in which core PCE inflation rose at the FOMC’s target rate” for the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of consumer price inflation, advise economists at Wells Fargo. “Given the quarterly sequential increases of only 2.0%, the year-over-year rate of core PCE inflation should recede further in coming months.”