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Recession or recession? US Fed Forecasts Walk a Fine Line By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell leaves after confronting reporters at a press conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington, US, June 15, 2022. (Reuters)/Elisabeth Frantz/ File Photo

(This story was corrected on December 16 to change the spelling of the name from Owens to Owen in the twentieth paragraph)

Written by Howard Schneider

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Joe Davis of Vanguard, like many economists, thinks the United States will experience a recession in 2023, and like many of his colleagues he doesn’t think it will be a serious recession.

It’s been called the “Zoom recession,” in effect a readjustment from the excesses of the pandemic — with technology and a handful of industries in the crosshairs as people reset how they use their time and money, but with many industries avoiding trouble.

“It’s back to normal,” he said.

The US Federal Reserve on new economic projections this week did not explicitly jump into the recessionary camp Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he feels the country can maintain “modest” growth and sees only a “modest” increase in unemployment even as the Fed deliberately tries Slow things down to calm inflation.

“I don’t think it would qualify for a recession,” Powell said of the rate of growth set by policymakers.

However, the Fed’s forecasts are very weak, and half a percent growth next year and a rise in unemployment would equal an additional 1.6 million people out of work by this time next year – results that look like a depression.

It may look different this time, but only if the Fed can beat history.

return to ….?

Recessions in the United States have come in many flavors—deep or shallow, short or long. The latter two stretched to the extreme.

The pandemic delivered a severe shock that pushed the unemployment rate close to 15% and saw the economy contract from April through June 2020 at a depression-like annual rate of 30%. But GDP grew by 35% in the next quarter, and within two years the unemployment rate had fully recovered, and the recession was considered to have lasted two months.

By contrast, the downturn caused by the housing market crash and broader financial crisis lasted a year and a half, from December 2007 to June 2009, a period during which GDP contracted in five out of six quarters. Payroll employment continued to decline for eight months after the recession ended and took six and a half years to regain its previous peak.

If a recession develops next year, no one expects it to look like either of those recessions.

Households and businesses are much less efficient than they were in 2007, with debt service payments modest in relation to income, and a financial sector that – due to post-financial crisis regulations – is better capitalised. All of these factors reduce the risk of a financial crisis, and the deeper kind of recession associated with it.

Chart: American Home Wars,

A closer parallel might be the period from March 2001 to November 2001, Davis notes. Those months were declared recessionary by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, adding some context to the Fed’s latest forecasts.

GDP contracted in the first and third quarters of 2001, but grew in the second and fourth quarters, generally expanding about 1% for the year.

That’s twice the annual growth the Fed says the US will see in 2022, and what it expects through 2023.

The rise in the unemployment rate at that time was more than what the Fed is currently projecting for the next year. From 3.9% in December 2000, the unemployment rate rose to 5.7% the following year, and the estimated number of unemployed rose to more than 2.5 million in a much smaller workforce.

The Fed sees the unemployment rate rise from 3.7% now to 4.6% in 2023 and remain roughly unchanged for two years after that.

In contrast to the “unemployment recovery” that bedeviled the United States after the economic downturn of 2007, the forecasts that Powell and his colleagues are drawing may develop into a “job recession,” a downturn that passes without any deep scar in the labor market. .

But the rise in unemployment that the Fed sees on its own would be consistent with a recession, and a feature of the US economy is that once the unemployment rate goes up by half a percentage point, it usually goes up a lot from there.

said Lindsey (NYSE::) Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a group that works on issues related to economic equality and jobs, and argues that the Fed is also putting workers at risk in its fight against inflation. “If there were a million people out of work, they would be disproportionately black, brown, and old. The consequences would be dire even if Wall Street came out the other side.”

Graph: US Unemployment Rate: Higher Means Higher,

The main indicators are mixed

Although the focus is often on GDP growth, the macroeconomists on the NBER Commission look at the factors that ultimately shape output, not the GDP number itself.

Among some of these central indicators, the economy still appears to have momentum, even if there are some signs of weakness.

On the plus side the posts. A recession is never declared without an outright drop in employment. Yet this continues to grow.

Graph: Job Loss and Recession,

Personal income without government transfer programs is another metric the committee monitors, since consumer spending accounts for a large amount of American economic activity, and a decline in household earnings can dampen it. Even adjusted for inflation, it’s held steady so far.

Graph: Recession and Personal Income,

Industrial production is another metric that reliably turns lower before a recession, and it’s one of those data points that appear to have peaked — indicating the kind of moment that might register with the NBER if it continues to drop.

Graphic: US Industrial Production,

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We need to pay more attention to skewed economic signals




The writer is chair of Queen’s College, Cambridge and advisor to Allianz and Gramercy

Inflation was the dominant economic and financial issue of 2022 for most countries around the world, especially for advanced economies that have a consequential impact on the global economy and markets.

The effects have been seen in declining living standards, increasing inequality, increasing borrowing costs, stock and bond market losses, and occasional financial mishaps (fortunately small and so far contained).

In this new year, recession, both actual and feared, has joined inflation in the driving seat of the global economy and is likely to replace it. It’s a development that makes the global economy and investment portfolios subject to a wide range of possible outcomes — something that a growing number of bond investors seem to be aware of more than their equity counterparts.

International Monetary Fund iYou will likely review soon Her economic growth forecasts again, predicting that “a third of the world will be hit by recession this year”. What is particularly notable to me about these worsening global prospects is not only that the world’s three major economic regions – China, the European Union and the United States – are slowing down together, but also that this is happening for different reasons.

In China, a chaotic exit from the wrong Covid-19 policy is undermining demand and causing more supply disruptions. Such headwinds to domestic and global economic well-being will continue as long as China fails to improve the coverage and effectiveness of its vaccination efforts. The strength and sustainability of the subsequent recovery will also require that the country more vigorously renew a growth model that can no longer rely on greater globalization.

The European Union continues to deal with energy supply disruptions as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. Strengthening inventory management and reorientation of energy supplies is well advanced in many countries. However, it is not yet sufficient to lift immediate constraints on growth, let alone resolve long-term structural headwinds.

The United States has the least problematic view. The headwinds to growth are due to the Fed’s struggle to contain inflation after mischaracterizing rate increases as fleeting and then initially being too timid to adjust monetary policy.

The Fed’s shift to an aggressive front-load of interest rate hikes came too late to prevent the spread of inflation in the services sector and wages. As such, inflation is likely to remain stubborn at around 4 percent, be less sensitive to interest rate policies and expose the economy to greater risk for accidents from additional policy errors that undermine growth.

The uncertainties facing each of these three economic areas suggest that analysts should be more careful in reassuring us that recessionary pressures will be “short and shallow”. They need to be open, if only to avoid repeating the mistake of prematurely dismissing inflation as transient.

This is especially important because these diverse drivers of recessionary risk make financial fragility more threatening and policy shifts more difficult, including potentially Japan. Get out of interest rate control Policy. The range of possible outcomes is extraordinarily large.

On the one hand, a better policy response, including improving the supply response and protecting the most vulnerable populations, can counteract the global economic slowdown and, in the case of the United States, avert a recession.

On the other hand, additional policy errors and market turmoil can lead to self-reinforcing vicious cycles with rising inflation and rising interest rates, weakening credit and compressed earnings, and stressing market performance.

Judging by market prices, more bond investors are better understanding this, including by refusing to follow the Fed’s interest rate guidance this year. Instead of a sustainable path to higher rates for 2023, they believe recessionary pressures will lead to cuts later this year. If true, government bonds would provide the yield and potential for badly missed portfolio risk mitigation in 2022.

However, parts of the stock market is still weakly bearish pricing. Reconciling these different scenarios is more important than investors. Without better alignment within markets and with policy signals, the positive economic and financial outcomes we all desire will be no less likely. They will also be challenged by the risk of more unpleasant outcomes at a time of less economic and human resilience.

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Macro hedge funds end 2022 higher, investors say, while many others take big losses By Reuters




© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Svea Herbst Baylis

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some hedge funds betting on macroeconomic trends have boasted of double and even triple-digit gains for 2022, while other high-profile companies that have long been on technology stocks have suffered heavy losses in volatile markets, investors said.

Rokos Capital, run by Chris Rokos and one of a handful of so-called global macro companies, gained 51% last year. Fund investors this week, who asked not to be identified, said Brevan Howard Asset Management, the company where Rokos once worked, posted a gain of 20.14% and Caxton Associates returned 16.73%.

Haider Capital Management’s Haider Jupiter Fund rose 193%, an investor said.

Data from hedge fund research showed that many macro managers have avoided crumbling stock markets that have been rocked by rapid interest rate increases and geopolitical turmoil, including the war in Ukraine, to rank among the best performers in the hedge fund industry. The company’s macro index rose 14.2% while the general index of hedge funds fell 4.25%, its first loss since 2018.

Equity hedge funds, where the bulk of the industry’s roughly $3.7 trillion in assets are invested, fared worse with a loss of 10.4%, according to HFR data. And while that beat the broader stock market’s loss of 19.4%, some high-profile funds posted even bigger losses.

Tiger Global Management lost 56% while Whale Rock Capital Management ended the year with a 43% loss and Maverick Capital lost 23%. Coatue Management ended 2022 with a loss of 19%.

But not all companies that bet on technology stocks suffered. John Thaler JAT Capital finished the year with a 3.7% gain after fees after a 33% increase in 2021 and a 46% gain in 2020.

Sculptor Capital Management (NYSE::), where founder Dan Och is fighting the company’s current CEO in court over his salary increase, posted a 13% drop.

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, which bet that Elon Musk would be forced to buy Twitter, ended the year up 37% while Rick Sandler’s Eminence Capital rose 7%.

A number of so-called multi-manager companies where teams of portfolio managers bet on a variety of sectors also boast positive returns and have been able to deliver on their promise that hedge funds can deliver better returns in distressed markets.

Balyasny’s Atlas Fund (NYSE: Enhanced) gained 9.7%, while Point72 Asset Management gained 10%. Millennium Management gained 12% while Carlson Capital ended the year with a 7% gain.

Representatives for the companies either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment.

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German automakers point to easing supply chain problems




Sales at BMW and Mercedes-Benz jumped in the final months of 2022 as the German premium auto brands indicated supply chain problems plaguing the industry were abating.

Automakers around the world have experienced parts shortages since the pandemic, especially semiconductors, leaving many of them with large fleets of incomplete vehicles that can’t be delivered to customers.

BMW and Mercedes each said their full-year vehicle deliveries fell last year by 4.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively, due to Suppliers Bottlenecks as well as lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine.

But supply pressures eased in the last quarter of the year, as BMW recorded a 10.6 percent jump in sales, with 651,798 vehicles delivered, and Mercedes fulfilling 540,800 orders, up 17 percent from the same period in 2022.

BMW He said the main effects of supply chain bottlenecks and continued lockdowns were felt in the first six months of the year, adding that “sales were steadily picking up in the second half.”

Mercedes boss Ula Kallenius told the Financial Times last week that the list of problems in the auto supply chain was declining, but added that long waits for cars would continue into 2023.

“One chip is enough to be vital [ . . .] Missing, and then you can’t finish the car, even if you have everything else.

Both brands recorded strong sales growth electric car. Mercedes, which last week announced a plan to build 10,000 charging docks, said EV shipments grew 124 percent to 117,800 last year compared with its predecessor.

Similarly, BMW reported strong growth in electric vehicle sales, with deliveries of fully electric vehicles doubling last year to 215,755.

Analysts at Bank of America said that sales of electric vehicles, including hybrid cars, reached a historic peak last November, with 1.1 million units sold. They attributed this largely to the upcoming phase-out of customer subsidies in Germany.

Participate in Mercedes BMW and BMW prices held steady Tuesday morning as investors priced in an image of an improving showing.

Rolls-Royce, a subsidiary of BMW, announced Monday that sales have hit a 119-year record, driven by strong demand in the United States, its largest market.

The luxury brand has been largely unaffected by the semiconductor pressure, mainly because it makes relatively few compounds and therefore needs fewer chips.

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