January 28, 2015

Bloomberg Celebrates Dec. Spike in New-Home Sales, Despite Record of Downward Revisions

If someone fools you once, shame on them. If they fool you with the same trick a second time, shame on you. If they “fool” you a third time — well, you must be in on it.

That’s my take on Bloomberg News’s virtually euphoric reaction to yesterday’s new-home sales release from the Census Bureau. The wire service’s Shobhana Chandra celebrated how seasonally adjusted December sales were at “the highest level in more than six years.” The problem is that the bureau reported the same development two other times in 2014, only to see each improvement disappear in subsequent revisions. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Recovery ‘Blame It on the Rest of the World’ Watch: Durable Goods Orders Plunge, Again

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:25 pm

From Bloomberg News via the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

Orders for capital goods drop for fourth straight month

Orders for business equipment unexpectedly fell in December for a fourth month, signaling a global growth slowdown is weighing on American companies.

Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 0.6 percent for a second month, data from the Commerce Department showed Tuesday in Washington. Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — declined 3.4 percent, the worst performance since August.

Slackening demand from Europe and some emerging markets is probably weighing on orders, making companies less willing to invest in new equipment. At the same time, brightening American consumer attitudes are leading to gains in purchases of big-ticket items such as automobiles and appliances that can ripple through the economy and underpin manufacturing.

“It’s a broad-range weakness,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, who is the second-best forecaster of capital goods orders for the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It likely reflects some of the weakness in some other parts of the world.”

Also (not reported at Bloomberg, but noted at the Associated Press), November was revised down to a 2.1 percent drop from the previously reported. 0.9 percent. That’s a compounded 5.4 percent drop (.979 x .966) in two months.

But of course, none of this has to do with weakness here in the U.S. It’s the rest of the world that’s dragging us down. (/sarc).

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (012815)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Why She Marched — A Mom’s Story of Raising Her Daughter With Down Syndrome

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington (video at link):

January 23, 2015

For Eileen and Sadie Haupt, this year’s March for Life, centered around the theme “Every Life is a Gift,” held special meaning.

During her pregnancy with Sadie, her second daughter, doctors asked Eileen if she wanted to undergo prenatal testing to see if her child had any health issues. Just as she had done with her first child, Eileen, who was then 39, opted out.

But when Eileen held Sadie in her arms for the first time after giving birth, she noticed something slightly different about her child when looking into her eyes. Sadie’s eyes were puffy, and in her head, Eileen told herself that her newborn had Down Syndrome.

“It’s not to say that it wasn’t emotional—it was emotional at times. But we just adapted pretty well, I think,” Eileen told The Daily Signal.

When Sadie was an infant, Eileen stumbled upon a statistic that said 90 percent of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

That moved her to action.

She and another mother of a child with Down Syndrome, Leticia Velasquez, started the group Keeping Infants with Down Syndrome in 2008 to raise awareness about the abortion rate of babies with the disorder. They come to Washington, D.C., every year to participate in the March for Life.

“We really felt there needed to be a presence in the march for families who have children with special needs, and in our case Down Syndrome,” Eileen said.

And this year was no different.

More than 15 parents and their children traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to March with KIDS and the hundreds of thousands of other attendees.

Though they, too, came from across the country, the families bonded with one another over their experiences with Down Syndrome. At the March, blue and yellow balloons traveled with the group as a symbol of their efforts to raise awareness about the disorder. …

Go here for the rest of the story.