Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reporters are clueless about economics

I often tell my classes that reporters usually get the economics wrong in their stories. Here is the latest example.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumers, battered by harsh economic crosswinds, spent less in December than at any time in the past 15 months while applications for unemployment benefits soared last week, two more signs the economy is weakening.
Actually, spending increased, it didn’t decrease as the reporter states. He goes on to contradict himself in the next sentence.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that consumer spending edged up just 0.2 percent in December - the year's peak shopping season - down sharply from a 1 percent gain in November.
It always helps to look at the actual data.

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