What passes for "Economic Reporting" at the Times

Great Headline:

Slowing Job Growth Seen as Ominous Sign for Economy
 
But the Times contradicts itslef within the first two paragraphs-journalism at its best.

The nation gained a modest 94,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reported yesterday, pulling back considerably from the previous month in the clearest sign yet that the American economy was headed for a substantial slowdown.

BUT WAIT....if one reads past the scary headline and dire first sentence we come to the contradiction which painst a more nuanced and optimistiv view of the economy

But the jobs report, a much-anticipated indicator of the health of the economy, also provided some comfort that the United States had not slipped into a recession and might not be weakening as rapidly as some experts feared. With business leaders expressing uncertainty about the prospects for further growth, analysts said, a better view of the direction of the economy was not likely to emerge until next year.

For the Times, good economic news is secondary to doom and gloom about the Bush economy - an economy that Larry Kudlow explains is still going strong after 6 years of growth:

Here are the facts: Americans are working. The 4.7 percent unemployment number remains at an historical low. On a three-month rolling basis, the U.S. economy has added over 100,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the household job count shows that an average of 303,000 jobs have been added in the last three months. This is noteworthy because it suggests that the job market is turning around.

Hours worked are growing more than 1-percent annually, while workers' wages are running 3.8 percent, a full percentage point ahead of inflation. As for this week's productivity report, it was nothing short of spectacular: the 6.3 percent productivity gain was the best in four years. A rise in productivity is good for growth. It's good for profits. And it's good for low inflation.

Speaking of inflation, business inflation is down from 3.5 percent just over a year ago to 1.5 percent today. Meanwhile, oil prices have retreated to $88. And, to top it all off, last night we received a tremendous new number showing household net wealth has headed even higher. It stands at a record $59 trillion dollars. That's more than seven percent above a year ago.

Another factoid worth considering is that mortgage refinancings are soaring at lower rates. Since June, they are up nearly 70 percent, while mortgage rates on 15 and 30-year loans are down nearly a 100 basis points. That is a very positive, very welcome development that ought to cushion the plunge in home sales, and maybe even prices.


The Bush Boom - most underreported story so far this century.


Great Headline:

Slowing Job Growth Seen as Ominous Sign for Economy
 
But the Times contradicts itslef within the first two paragraphs-journalism at its best.

The nation gained a modest 94,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reported yesterday, pulling back considerably from the previous month in the clearest sign yet that the American economy was headed for a substantial slowdown.

BUT WAIT....if one reads past the scary headline and dire first sentence we come to the contradiction which painst a more nuanced and optimistiv view of the economy

But the jobs report, a much-anticipated indicator of the health of the economy, also provided some comfort that the United States had not slipped into a recession and might not be weakening as rapidly as some experts feared. With business leaders expressing uncertainty about the prospects for further growth, analysts said, a better view of the direction of the economy was not likely to emerge until next year.

For the Times, good economic news is secondary to doom and gloom about the Bush economy - an economy that Larry Kudlow explains is still going strong after 6 years of growth:

Here are the facts: Americans are working. The 4.7 percent unemployment number remains at an historical low. On a three-month rolling basis, the U.S. economy has added over 100,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the household job count shows that an average of 303,000 jobs have been added in the last three months. This is noteworthy because it suggests that the job market is turning around.

Hours worked are growing more than 1-percent annually, while workers' wages are running 3.8 percent, a full percentage point ahead of inflation. As for this week's productivity report, it was nothing short of spectacular: the 6.3 percent productivity gain was the best in four years. A rise in productivity is good for growth. It's good for profits. And it's good for low inflation.

Speaking of inflation, business inflation is down from 3.5 percent just over a year ago to 1.5 percent today. Meanwhile, oil prices have retreated to $88. And, to top it all off, last night we received a tremendous new number showing household net wealth has headed even higher. It stands at a record $59 trillion dollars. That's more than seven percent above a year ago.

Another factoid worth considering is that mortgage refinancings are soaring at lower rates. Since June, they are up nearly 70 percent, while mortgage rates on 15 and 30-year loans are down nearly a 100 basis points. That is a very positive, very welcome development that ought to cushion the plunge in home sales, and maybe even prices.


The Bush Boom - most underreported story so far this century.