Beijing is protesting U.S. sanctions against additional Chinese companies over their alleged attempts to evade U.S. export controls on Russia, calling it an illegal move that endangers global supply chains.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday placed five firms based in mainland China and Hong Kong on its “entity list,” barring them from trading with any U.S. firms without gaining a special license. Washington has been tightening up enforcement of sanctions against foreign firms it sees as providing assistance to Russia in its Ukraine war, forcing them to choose between trading with Moscow or with the U.S.
Americans cut their spending at retail stores and restaurants in March for the second straight month, a sign consumers are becoming more cautious after a burst of spending in January.
Retail sales dropped 1% in March from February, a sharper decline than the 0.2% fall in the previous month. Lower sales of autos, electronics, and at home and garden stores drove the decline. The data isn’t adjusted for inflation, which rose only slightly last month.
Christopher Waller, a member of the Federal Reserve’s governing board, said Friday that there has been little progress on inflation for more than a year and that more interest rate hikes are needed to get prices under control.
Waller did not specify how many more increases he supports, but said in written remarks that inflation “is still much too high and so my job is not done.”