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Which AP Article Should We Believe?

From the ever trustworthy Associated Press:

Sluggish July sales show tight-fisted consumers

By Anne D’innocenzio, AP Retail Writer, Aug 6

NEW YORK – Shoppers, worried about job security and finding fewer options among the sales bins, remained tight-fisted in July, resulting in sluggish sales for many merchants and raising concern about the back-to-school shopping season’s health.

As merchants reported their sales figures Thursday, mall-based chains continue to be hit hardest as consumers focus on necessities. Among the disappointments were Macy’s Inc. and teen retailers Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Wet Seal Inc.

Among the few bright spots was discounter TJX Cos., operator of the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains. which reported a sales gain that exceeded Wall Street estimates.

"The consumer is stressed and depressed," said Ken Perkins, president of retail consulting firm Retail Metrics…

July’s decline marks the 11th consecutive monthly drop when excluding Wal-Mart results — which had buoyed the industry in the spring before it stopped reporting monthly numbers

And yet, just two days ago, this self-same Associated Press authoritatively reported:

Consumer spending rises for the second straight month, U.S. Commerce Department says

Tuesday August 04, 2009

WASHINGTON — Consumers increased their spending in June for the second straight month, even as incomes fell sharply.

The Commerce Department says consumers boosted their spending 0.4 percent, slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates. That comes after spending rose 0.1 percent in May.

The department says personal income fell 1.3 percent after rising by the same amount in May, when incomes were boosted by one-time payments from the Obama administration’s stimulus package. Economists expected personal incomes, the fuel for future spending, to fall 1 percent.

Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for about 70 percent of total U.S. economic activity.

Still, we can even remember when consumer spending was considered a bad thing by the AP.

Way back when Mr. Bush was President.

And speaking of the endless economic disinformation from the Associated Press:

New jobless claims drop more than expected

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

Aug 6

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, the government said Thursday, a sign that the job market is making gradual improvement.

Job losses are likely to slow in coming months, economists said, a trend that could be reflected in the government’s July unemployment report to be released Friday.

"We believe the lower claims figures are an important economic development and confirmation that the economy is turning the corner," Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to clients.

First-time claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 550,000 for the week ending Aug. 1, down from an upwardly revised figure of 588,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said.

That was much lower than analysts’ estimates of 580,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. And the four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 555,250, its lowest point since late January.

The number of people continuing to claim benefits rose, however, by 69,000 to 6.3 million, after having dropped for three straight weeks…

Of course we’re no economists, but if more people are claiming jobless benefits doesn’t that mean that jobless claims actually rose?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 6th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Which AP Article Should We Believe?”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    A fifth graders math is better than this administrations!

    Where are the reports about jobs being “stimulated”?

    I guess when Nobama Care sinks in and the Baby Boomers are dispensed post haste there will be shovel ready jobs in the cemeteries.
    Pathetic bunch of do nothings!!

    • catie says:

      Yeah, they’ll be so many people being buried that they’ll have to put three or four people in one grave just like they did in good old Alsip, near thug central-aka Chicago.

  2. samdgood says:

    the media reports what they want don’t they?

    • proreason says:

      I think it’s more what the administration wants.

      The media doesn’t seem to be able to think independently.

  3. Chuckk says:

    I don’t remember ever seeing a jobs report, a report about economic activity, a car sales or housing starts report, or any other kind of report that did not surprise the experts. Who are these “experts?”

  4. Diamond Girl says:

    I just really enjoyed the “excluding Wal-Mart” in the first A.P. Story.

    Oh how the left love to hate them…Unions want control…as we all know.

    It’s not that if your a political junkie, plus you watch CNBC/FBC you don’t know what is going on, and the SRM is and has been nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the reporting on the economy/Evil Wall Street.

    No matter how good the reports or weekly/monthly/quarterly economic news was during the Bush admin. the SRM would always add on a … but …

    Then continue to proceed with how bad things really were, when they weren’t.

    Dontcha love the leftists and their agenda/ nothing like propaganda 24/7, one way or the other…come hell or high water…it’s their job….and by gum they are gonna “Get ‘er Done!”

  5. wae says:

    The devil is in the details. The reduction in first time jobless claims has been “seasonally adjusted”. So while the raw number of claims is numerically higher, that number has been revised down based, in theory, on the number of jobs that would ordinarily have been lost anyway because of seasonal jobs coming to an end.

    Just another way to twist the numbers. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

  6. bill says:

    Sometimes when you cook the books, you forget what has been cooked and what is supposed to be served now.

    Most would just say you have trouble keeping your lies straight.

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