hopperbach


If it weren’t for bad luck…

Here’s the latest economic news from the AP:

Gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, its fastest pace in nearly a year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The revised reading was much better than the government’s initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists’ expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.

Now for the title of the article… drumroll please…

Spring’s economic rebound unlikely to last

And the subtitle:

Spring’s economic strength unlikely to last given slowdowns overseas, struggling consumers

Nuff said;) The article then goes into gloomy reason after gloomy reason as to why we shouldn’t derive any hope in these revised economic numbers. Click here for the full dreary details and then click here for the vocal accompaniment.



Are you smiling or is it just gas?

The petro plummet continues:

NEW YORK — Oil prices tumbled below $130 a barrel for the first time in more than a month Thursday, as crude’s dramatic slide entered a third day accompanied by a sharp sell-off in natural gas.

So this sharp decline should be good news for consumers right? Not if you are the AP:

The declines accelerated amid growing concerns that the weakening economy and creeping inflation are eroding demand for fossil fuels in the U.S. and other large energy-consuming nations.

Just so that we understand the situation in MSMspeak: the sudden 10% drop in oil prices since Monday is not to be seen as a sign of hope. It’s to be seen as yet another sign that our economy is in the tank.

To further break it down:

  • Oil up  = proof of weak economy
  • Oil down  = proof of weak economy

Simple as that. Now turn that smile upside down and be on your unmerry way…



Thanks for the (bad) memories

I have a quiz for you. What are some nicknames we might give to an economy which has been solid and robust for the past seven years? The Dems and the MSM have had many… the Greenspan economy… the housing boom economy… the inherited Clinton economy… even the just plain dumb luck economy.

Now, what do we call an economy that starts to sputter in a major election year? Why the BUSH economy, of course.

And part of Barack Obama’s campaign strategy has been to blame the President for our our recent troubling economic news while suggesting that a vote for John McCain will mean more of the same — birds of a feather and all that good stuff.

Now McCain is returning the compliment. In an interview with Brian Williams on ABC’s Nightly News last night, the presumptive Republican nominee took a dig back at his rival with a little unsavory comparison of his own:

Williams: Is it going to be tough to run with an incumbent party for the White House, given this economic backdrop?

McCain: I– I think it’s– it’s tough. But I think the American didn’t, people didn’t get to know me yesterday. They know me. They know that I have fought for restraining spending, which Senator Obama has been a big part of, with earmarking (UNINTEL) projects. They know that I have been a strong fiscal conservative, and they know I understand the challenges that they face.

They need a little break from– from their gasoline taxes, and they — and they know that — we’ve got to get spending under control. And we’ve got to become independent of foreign oil. Sen. Obama says that I’m running for a Bush’s third terms. It seems to me he’s running for Jimmy Carter’s second. (LAUGHTER)

Ouch… now THAT’s hitting below the belt, Johnny. Barack might just demand an apology for that one.

You might also need to apologize to the American people for reminding them about the fiscal and foreign policy train wreck that was the Carter administration. We had almost blotted that out of our memories…



Darn those numbers
June 5, 08, 4:24 pm
Filed under: economy, jobless claims, recession | Tags: , ,

Last week’s jobless data not as bad as expected… again. Holy harbinger of hope, Batman! When is this freefall going to end?

Fear not though, this time “experts” and media pessimists are pinning the decline on that tricky little Memorial Day holiday. Um.. so they couldn’t factor that in when they were making their forecasts?: Not according to Bloomberg:

The number of Americans filing first- time jobless claims unexpectedly fell last week, possibly reflecting the closure of government offices for the Memorial Day holiday.

Initial jobless claims decreased by 18,000 to 357,000 in the week that ended May 31, the lowest level in more than a month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. While the figures are adjusted for seasonal variations, holidays make it more difficult for Labor to estimate the changes.

Really? So the people who normally would have filed on Monday couldn’t just file on.. y’know.. Tuesday? And then they didn’t file for the rest of the week? They just gave up and decided not to file at all? I’m learning new things here…

The level of claims indicates the job market is weakening without collapsing as deteriorating demand has led employers to pull back on hiring rather than carry out mass firings of the scale seen in past recessions. Rising joblessness, falling home values and higher fuel costs raise the risk that consumer spending will falter.

Ahhh, now we get to the real meat of the matter- there’s just not enough FIRING going on out there! How are we gonna have a TRUE RECESSION when employers aren’t stepping up to the plate and FIRING? This sure puts a damper on things.

Of course, last time an unexpected decline in jobless rates occurred the press was able to dismiss the good news by citing the 4-week moving averagea “more reliable guide to underlying labor trends” as Reuters called it.

But this time…

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, fell to 368,500 from 371,250, today’s report showed.

Ouch. Things just aren’t going well for the media messengers of monetary meltdown lately. Oh well, they still have their health.

Story here:

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell to 357,000 Last Week



What’s wrong with you consumers?
May 29, 08, 4:36 pm
Filed under: economy, media, MSM, recession | Tags: , , , ,

More bad news for financial armageddonists. The economy may be picking up again:

The new reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, was an improvement from the government’s initial growth estimate for the January-to-March quarter as well as the economy’s performance in the final quarter of last year. Both periods were pegged at a 0.6 percent growth rate.

Gross domestic product, or GDP, measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States.

The first-quarter performance matched analysts’ forecasts and offered a somewhat encouraging sign because it showed the economy was still growing at that time. The figure didn’t meet a definition of recession, which under a rough rule is two straight quarters of shrinking GDP, and might raise hopes the country can dodge a full-blown downturn.

Certainly these GDP numbers hurt the overall GAD (gloom-and-doom) quotient that the media relies on so heavily. This is a bad omen for those on the left who who were counting on an election-year crash-and-burn.

I’ve always sort of wondered anyway… do we really have to have a recession just because the media tells us we’re going to have a recession? Experts will point to economic indicators and other impressive sounding jargon — and no doubt housing and fuel are having a negative impact and more jobs than usual are being lost. But I propose that the media itself plays no small part in affecting the psychology of the consumer and business owner.

In short, they peddle fear to the point that we become afraid to spend our money.

If that’s true — and I believe it to be — what we may be witnessing is a gradual waning of the MSM’s influence over us. They certainly don’t scare me anymore… especially after enduring their magnum opus of mass-hysteria called Y2K a few years back. Maybe people are wise to the press now. Maybe they have resolved simply to live their lives and ignore all the dire forecasts.

So what would happen if this really occurred on a mass scale? My personal prediction: the economy would boom and more people would be… well… happy. And Democrats would suffer mightily as their sacred doomsday propaganda arm started to lose it’s grip on their voter base (thank you, Senator… but we’ll make our OWN “change”). What a lovely thought…

In case you were wondering… the color of my little world is red… rosy red….



On average, we’re still doomed

Could the financial “experts” and oracles of economic armageddon be wrong? The latest government data is out and apparently jobless claims have fallen “unexpectedly” in the past week:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing initial claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell 9,000 last week, the government said on Thursday, while the overall number of workers on the benefit rolls held at a four-year high.

First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 365,000 last week from a revised 374,000 for the prior week, the Labor Department said. The filings were the lowest since mid-April, but remained at elevated levels, underscoring a sluggish jobs market.

Analysts had expected new claims to edge up to 375,000 from the originally reported 371,000 for the week ended May 10.

Prices for U.S. Treasury securities slipped after the surprise drop in jobless claims data hinted that the weak labor market may be stabilizing, while the dollar extended gains against the yen and euro.

Encouraging data, right? Ahh, but numbers are very malleable things, grasshopper. Good tidings can sometimes be an illusion. If the dire picture the “experts” have painted doesn’t fit the data… paint another one. Only mix the colors a little differently this time so that you now have an average.

The four-week average of new jobless claims, a more reliable guide to underlying labor trends because it irons out weekly volatility, rose to 372,250 last week from 367,250 in the previous week.

That’s more like it! All this good news was starting to scare me.

So what are the chances Reuters will cite this “more reliable guide” the next time we have an unexpected increase in jobless claims in the middle of a robust economy? About the chances they will finally start using the word terrorist to describe Islamic radicals who blow things and people to smithereens.

Story link here:

Jobless claims unexpectedly fall in latest week