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More “unexpected” bad economic news

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - May 31, 2011.
Filed under: Economy,Media Bias

Take a gander at Yahoo!’s headlines this morning:

Once again, bad economic news comes, as Glenn Reynolds regularly notes, unexpectedly.

UPDATE:  Guess these folks in the media have just believe that if a Democrat is president, with Congress passing his $800-billion recovery act, the economy must needs recover.

From the AP article Yahoo! linked:

Americans are losing faith that the economy will keep improving, according to a monthly survey.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.8 from a revised 66 in April, a sign of the toll that high gas prices, a choppy job outlook and a moribund housing market are taking on people’s psyches. Economists had expected an increase to 67. It was the lowest reading since November.

UP-UPDATE: “And who, by the way,” Michael Barone asks

. . . are the “economists” who had expected consumer confidence to rise? Perhaps the Associated Press writers could do a little investigation here and tell us who the economists are who keep getting things wrong. Or will they be content to keep characterizing negative economic trends as “unexpected”?

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11 Comments

  1. Coming sometime before Obama’s run is over: “Misery Index* Unexpectedly Hits 20%”

    (* inflation plus unemployment)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 31, 2011 @ 12:03 pm - May 31, 2011

  2. (I mean both that Obama’s policies are taking us to a 20% misery index – it is only a matter of time – and that enough Americans are foolish enough in their support of Obama that it will take a 20% misery index to make them stop.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 31, 2011 @ 12:07 pm - May 31, 2011

  3. It’s unexpected because economists expected it to rise, not fall. It’s not the author or mainstream media putting a spin on the article as you suggest.

    Comment by aj — May 31, 2011 @ 12:31 pm - May 31, 2011

  4. The neighborhoods of New York City are full of vacant stores, mostly former restaurants. It would seem that people are tightening up their belts and the marginal food emporiums are the first to fall. Last evening, on one short block I passed a dead pizza joint, a Mexican goner, a defunct pub and a closed ice cream failure. There were still a couple of open places to eat and they had low price chalk-board come-ons attempting to lure cash flow.

    The economists are not very good at keeping up with failed entrepreneurs, part timers with no work, and all the suppliers and landlords who lose the revenue.

    When the news people continue to chatter about “unexpected” bad economic news, they are really pretending that unintended consequences of market manipulation don’t exist.

    The stimulus was so huge that any mention of weakness in the national infrastructure should easily have been erased by the massive, directed infusion of stimulus money. I see that stimulus money is being spent on a dog park in Washington, D.C. so clearly, the infrastructure problems in that city have been cleared up down to the dog park level.

    Whether there is unexpected unemployment in Washington, D.C. is something I will have to read about in the Washington Post. The same Washington Post that is shedding readers like leaves on an oak tree in November.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 31, 2011 @ 12:52 pm - May 31, 2011

  5. The neighborhoods of New York City are full of vacant stores, mostly former restaurants. It would seem that people are tightening up their belts and the marginal food emporiums are the first to fall. Last evening, on one short block I passed a dead pizza joint, a Mexican goner, a defunct pub and a closed ice cream failure. There were still a couple of open places to eat and they had low price chalk-board come-ons attempting to lure cash flow.

    The economists are not very good at keeping up with failed entrepreneurs, part timers with no work, and all the suppliers and landlords who lose the revenue.

    When the news people continue to chatter about “unexpected” bad economic news, they are really pretending that unintended consequences of market manipulation don’t exist.

    The stimulus was so huge that any mention of weakness in the national infrastructure should easily have been erased by the massive, directed infusion of stimulus money. I see that stimulus money is being spent on a dog park in Washington, D.C. so clearly, the infrastructure problems in that city have been cleared up down to the dog park level.

    Whether there is unexpected unemployment in Washington, D.C. is something I will have to read about in the Washington Post. The same Washington Post that is shedding readers like leaves on an oak tree in November.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 31, 2011 @ 12:52 pm - May 31, 2011

  6. It’s unexpected because economists expected it to rise, not fall. It’s not the author or mainstream media putting a spin on the article as you suggest.

    You’ve managed to miss the point. The article itself is the spin. *Left-wing* economists expected consumer confidence to rise; *left-wing* economists keep expecting the economic news to be somehow good, and treat the mounting evidence to the contrary as “unexpected”, i.e. just bad luck or not anything Obama could be responsible for. Since the headline services are biased, they push that viewpoint in their selection of articles. This was only example #98,234,410.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 31, 2011 @ 12:58 pm - May 31, 2011

  7. Also, can aj please find examples of Presiden’t Bush’s tenure when the economy did something ‘unexpectedly’?

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 31, 2011 @ 2:39 pm - May 31, 2011

  8. I expect the AP keep using the “unexpected” line until the cows turn purple & start singing operatic tunes in the pasture; they are Obamabots who believe in his big government crapola. AP’s spin doesn’t past muster given the high unemployment & inflation since Obama has been POTUS since 2009.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — May 31, 2011 @ 3:22 pm - May 31, 2011

  9. #7 I can. From 6 July 2007,

    It’s time now, folks, for another installment in the monthly “Better Than Expected” series from the Drive-By Media. This time, it’s job growth. Headline from Jeannine Aversa, AP economics writer: “Job Growth Is Better-Than-Expected.” What is this, the sixth or seventh straight month where all the experts have been stunned by economic news? “Employers boosted payrolls by a better than expected 132,000 jobs in June, enough to keep the unemployment rate at a relatively low…” Relatively low! (Laughing.) It’s record low! (Laughing.) You just have to love these people. Everybody’s being exposed to the way they do things and they don’t get it! They continue. They refuse to adapt. “…better than expected 132,000 jobs…relatively low unemployment rate at 4.5%. It was another sign that the economy is snapping out of a nearly year-long sluggish spell.” A nearly year-long sluggish spell? I love this part of the article, too. It says, “Despite the healthy jobs market and the budding rebound the public is giving President Bush low marks for his economic stewardship.” Oh! Well, I’m so surprised. The media spend 30 days a month reporting how bad everything is going, then on the 31st day of the month they write the CYA, the “economy’s getting better than expected” story, and it’s on to the next four straight weeks of hand-wringing. It’s all about creating a perception of disaster, imminent doom, and crisis.

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_070607/content/01125107.member.html

    Comment by TGC — May 31, 2011 @ 8:40 pm - May 31, 2011

  10. Conversely, from 31 July 2009

    “The first 12 months of the US recession saw the economy shrink more than twice as much as previously estimated, reflecting even bigger declines in consumer spending and housing, revised figures showed. The world’s largest economy contracted 1.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the last three months of 2008. ‘The current downturn beginning in 2008 is more pronounced,’ Steven Landefeld, director of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.” This economy has shrunk twice as much as it did with George W. Bush in the trailing end of 2008, and this is a great example of what state-controlled media is. I just gave you the facts. I just told you the truth. Here is, from state-controlled Reuters: “US Economy Fares Better Than Expected In Latest Quarter.” The recession is twice as bad, economic growth two times as bad. But the state-controlled media: “‘US Economy Fares Better Than Expected In Latest Quarter’ — The US economy contracted at a slower-than-expected pace in the second quarter, government data showed on Friday, but a sharp drop in consumer spending fanned fears that recovery would be sluggish.”

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_073109/content/01125106.member.html

    Comment by TGC — May 31, 2011 @ 8:43 pm - May 31, 2011

  11. unemployment rate at 4.5%… “Despite the healthy jobs market and the budding rebound the public is giving President Bush low marks for his economic stewardship.”

    Sarbanes-Oxley, $400B deficits and 1% interest rates were wrong… but, I guess they were still a lot better than Dodd-Frank, $1.5T deficits and ZIRP / QE. Anyway, the economy thought so.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 31, 2011 @ 9:11 pm - May 31, 2011

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