Macro Briefing: 30 December 2022

* Biden signs $1.7 trillion spending bill and avoids government shutdown
* Xi and Putin speak via video to highlight Russia-China partnership
* Risk is low that a dangerous new Covid-19 variant is spreading in China
* Estimating China’s covid outbreak is a scientific guessing game
* Vietnam’s economy defies world trend and grows sharply in 2022
* Over half of 50 US states showing signs of slowing economic activity
* Small-business owners say hiring and retaining workers is getting easier
* US mortgage rates rebound after falling for six straight weeks
* US jobless claims (unadjusted) continue to rise vs. year-ago level:

Markets in 2023 will be driven by fundamentals, predicts a wealth manager. “Next year I think it’s not going to be the Fed determining the market,” says Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi Wealth LLP. “I think it’s going to be companies, fundamentals, companies that can grow earnings, defend their margins, probably move higher,” he tells CNBC. “Bond yields are giving you a real return now, above inflation. So it’s a reasonable place to put capital now, whereas at the start of this year it didn’t make much sense. It was hard to expect a return above inflation where yields were.”