Last night I was listening to the 6:00 o’clock news on NPR and heard a report about the decline of leading economic indicators in March.
I can’t recall it verbatim, and NPR does not provide transcripts of its news reports, but this Marketwatch story says much the same thing:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- A gauge of future economic activity declined for a second straight month in March, signaling a slowdown, economists said Thursday.
The Conference Board’s U.S. index of leading economic indicators fell 0.1% last month after a revised 0.5% drop in February, much larger than the 0.2% decline initially reported.
Five of the 10 leading indicators tracked by the Conference Board improved in March, while four declined and one remained unchanged.
After reporting the above information, the newsreader (probably Cory Flintoff) said something like this:
Analysts are concerned that the declining indicators may signal a coming slowdown, after several months of strong economic growth.
DISCLAIMER: I am not economically well-versed, so I don’t have any idea of the accuracy or the value of these ten indicators. Dymphna is the economist in the family, and she may well want to put in her two cents about this story.
But that’s not my point. My point is that, if you believe NPR, the “strong economic growth” of the past few months never happened.
If you’re a masochist, like me, and listen to NPR regularly, you know that every month when the economic reports come out, the results are an occasion for nothing but gloom and alarm. In fact, if your sole source of news is NPR, you’ll never even know about economic good times, presuming they occur during a Republican administration. There is simply no such thing as good economic news under the circumstances.
Housing starts up, durable goods orders up 8%?
Analysts fear that this may ignite a new round of inflation.
New jobless claims down for the third month in a row?
Economists worry that record high employment may bid up wage rates, igniting a new round of inflation.
Unemployment rate drops to 4.7%?
Critics point out that most new job formation occurred in the service sector, where wages and benefits are low, particularly for women and monorities.
Real wages on the rise?
Some economists report that consumer debt is rising faster than wages, cancelling the effect of the new wealth and dampening the national savings rate.
Month after month, year after year, that’s what you hear on NPR. Good ol’ NPR, our own Ministry of Information, paid for in part by your tax dollars! And the rest, of course, paid for by left-wing foundations whose agenda is indistinguishable from that of A.N.S.W.E.R.
Economic boom? There’s no economic boom! At least until it’s over, and then we can announce the news that the good times have come to an end, and now we’re in for some real suffering.
Nothing but doom on the horizon, as far as the eye can see.
But wait a minute! NPR’s resident economic soothsayer is here, wearing his embroidered robe and pointy hat with the occult symbols, and staring into his crystal ball.
I see bad times ahead… 2006… war, pestilence, famine… 2007… trouble, strife, suffering… 2008… 2009… January 21st, inauguration of Hillary Rodham… hmm… big changes coming after that! Forecast looks rosy! A tofu chicken in every pot and a Prius in every garage!
Let’s stick around and see if happens.