One question from the Michigan survey asks whether people think now is a good time to buy big household items. When the pandemic hit, Democrats and Republicans alike moved sharply towards “not a good time to buy”. But just months later, when Joe Biden won the presidential election — while Covid-19 still raged — Democrats suddenly declared conditions ripe for purchases of new fridge-freezers. Republicans did not. It seems US consumer sentiment is becoming the latest victim of expressive responding, where people give incorrect answers to questions to signal wider tribal political or social affiliations. My advice: if you want to know what Americans really think of economic conditions, look at their spending patterns. Unlike cautious Europeans, US consumers are back on the pre-pandemic trendline and buying more stuff than ever.
- Date Posted:
- December 1, 2023
To see how deeply Huawei and the Chinese government are now entwined, look no further than the launch in August of the new Mate 60 Pro smartphone. Huawei timed the release of the phone to coincide with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s visit to China in part because of direct encouragement from a senior official at the top of the regime, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters. Huawei never disclosed technical details, but a teardown of the handset conducted by TechInsights for Bloomberg News found it was powered by SMIC’s advanced 7-nanometer processor. That suggests China is roughly five years behind the current most advanced technology. Export controls imposed by the Biden administration in 2022 were aimed at keeping China at least eight years behind.