November 5, 2007

The Economy is So Bad …..

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 2:30 pm

….. that roughly 88% 85% of it (see note below) was reported earlier today as expanding, and at a faster rate than in September.

That info comes from the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM’s) Non-Manufacturing report, which came in with a reading of 55.8, up from 54.8 in September. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Scroll down the report, and you will see that it has shown expansion for 55 consecutive months. That happens to be the longest streak on record.

Applying the “patented” BizzyBlog method for determining whether the economy is getting better or worse, we find that the economy is getting better. Since both ISM readings are and have been in expansion mode for some time — manufacturing’s 15% of the economy, along with non-manufacturing’s 85% — the correct characterization of the economy is that it is “getting even better.”

Specifically, step-by-step (revised; see Note below):

September — (.15 x 52.00) + (.85 x 54.8) = 7.80 + 46.58 = 54.38
October — (.15 x 50.9) + (.85 x 55.8 [above]) = 7.63 + 47.43 = 55.06

How much more “awful” can it get? (/sarc)

Better question: How much more detached from reality can Old Media be?

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10 p.m. NOTE: The weighted-average calculations have been changed to reflect an allocation of 15% manufacturing and 85% non-manufacturing on the basis of one of the economists quoted in the AP article referenced below, and the belief that the government, whose goods and services, such as they are, comprise a small percentage of GDP, is not part of the non-manufacturing percentage.

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UPDATE: As if on cue, from the Associated Press

An increase in new orders helped drive the U.S. services sector to a faster-than-expected growth rate in October, but economists warned the data didn’t foretell that economic growth would pick up soon.

“Pick up soon”? After a third quarter when advance GDP came in at 3.9%, followed by the stronger expansion in October of the composite ISM numbers noted above, and what others (besides me; I was unimpressed) are calling a good October jobs report, the AP acting as if economic growth necessarily even NEEDS to pick up is disgraceful propaganda.

The rest of the piece quotes two economists, one who is looking for a “harbinger of an economic turning point” (reminder: 3.9% growth, net ISMs expanding more rapidly), another who says the ISM data is on balance a few weeks old, so it doesn’t count (I don’t believe it’s more than a couple of weeks old, tops).

AP reporters need to put someone other than gloom-and-doomers on their speed dials.

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