Macro Briefing: 5 February 2024

* Fed’s Powell reaffirms outlook for rate cuts this year, but…
* Powell insists Fed will proceed “carefully” on timing
* Lower US inflation lays groundwork for rate cuts, OECD advises
* Corporate earnings for key S&P 500 firms are in focus this week
* Deflation pressures expected to continue in China for 2024
* Tech layoffs continue despite booming US economy
* US hiring accelerated in January, rising at strongest pace in a year:

US is now the world top exporter of natural gas. A key reason is the surge in exports to Europe, which is now the biggest importer of American gas following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 — a war that slashed Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. “It comes down to economics,” says Kenneth Medlock, senior director at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University. “Production just keeps growing in the United States, which keeps prices low. And then we keep seeing major demand growth in the rest of the world.”

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