Macro Briefing: 7 August 2023

* Fed Governor Bowman says more rate hikes are “likely” to tame inflation
* JPMorgan abandons US recession forecast despite “very elevated” risks
* Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco reports big drop in profits due to lower oil prices
* US payrolls rose less than forecast in July
* US scientists repeat net energy gain with nuclear fusion test
* Trucking firm Yellow files for bankruptcy after shutting down business
* China’s local government financing vehicles showing more signs of stress
* US stock market is fairly valued, estimates Morningstar:

The US labor market will be key for determining if an economic soft landing is likely. “In layman’s terms, 4% unemployment is a sort of a magical dividing line because when unemployment is below 4%, we see a whole bunch of things happen in the economy,” says Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “With unemployment below 4%, we see participation (in the job market) pick up because the labor market is sufficiently tight that employers raise wages, improve benefits, improve working conditions and recruit more broadly.” She explains that a soft-landing labor market would probably track conditions between 2015 and 2019.