July 6, 2015

Bloomberg Reporter Bases ‘Factories Making a Comeback’ Story on a Survey, Ignoring Horrible Contrary Data

As I was looking for news coverage of Thursday’s horrid factory orders report from the Census Bureau late last week, I came across an incredibly optimistic Blomberg News report by Victoria Stilwell.

The headline of her story on July 1, the day before that factory orders release, read: “Factories Making a Comeback as U.S. Domestic Demand Picks Up.” My reaction: On what planet? It turns out that Stilwell based her assessment on largely on a survey, namely the June Manufacturing Index published by the Institute for Supply Management earlier that day.

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June ISM Non-Manufacturing: 56.0 Percent, Up From 55.7 Percent in May

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:29 pm

From the Institute for Supply Management (bolds are mine; paragraph breaks added by me):

Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in June for the 65th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®.

… The NMI® registered 56 percent in June, 0.3 percentage point higher than the May reading of 55.7 percent. This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector at a slightly faster rate.

The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 61.5 percent, which is 2 percentage points higher than the May reading of 59.5 percent, reflecting growth for the 71st consecutive month at a faster rate. The New Orders Index registered 58.3 percent, 0.4 percentage point higher than the reading of 57.9 percent registered in May.

The Employment Index decreased 2.6 percentage points to 52.7 percent from the May reading of 55.3 percent and indicates growth for the 16th consecutive month. The Prices Index decreased 2.9 percentage points from the May reading of 55.9 percent to 53 percent, indicating prices increased in June for the fourth consecutive month.

According to the NMI®, 15 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in June. The majority of respondents’ comments are positive about business conditions and the economy.

Unless there’s a problem in seasonal adjustments, which it isn’t raising, I can’t get excited about the small “miss” from expectations of 56.4 percent Zero Hedge has cited. 56.0 percent is a healthy expansionary reading.

The far bigger question is whether that reading reflects what’s really going on in the economy or will be going on in the economy in the near future, which is supposed to be the whole point of the exercise.

On that, given how the group’s Manufacturing Index has been continually flashing expansion while reported factory output, orders and sales have been sharply declining, it’s hard to have any confidence in ISM Non-Manufacturing Assessment.

AP Fails to Give National Treatment to Couple’s $135K Fine For Refusing to Make an Illegal Same-Sex ‘Wedding Cake

Regardless of one’s stance on these issues, it should be obvious that if the legalization of same-sex “marriage” is a national story, the determination by the radical left and its government “civil rights” enforcers to brutally punish those who won’t support it because it violates the religious beliefs of the “offenders” should also be.

The former dominated the news last week. But the Associated Press failed to give national treatment to the arguably most outrageous instance of the latter, the $135,000 fine levied against Aaron and Melissa Klein and their now-shuttered Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Oregon, for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex “wedding.” The New York Times, perhaps not wishing to kill the positive buzz over the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, has not published a story at all — even though it did cover an administrative judge’s late-April finding that the couple violated Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws.

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AP Admits Obamacare Is a Likely Factor in ‘Increasing Part-Time Employment’

Though the Associated Press is now basically admitting it, we all knew it. Obamacare’s 30-hours-per-week definition of a “full-time employee” for employer health insurance coverage purposes has been responsible for one of the fundamentally negative changes in the American workforce — a noticeable move away from full-time to part-time employment.

In a report with a current Saturday morning time stamp at the AP’s national web site which originally went up on Friday, the wire service’s Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak covered the “new normal” in the job market. This writeup will receive yours truly’s fuller attention later. But for now, I must note that the pair’s report largely abandoned the AP’s and the establishment press’s years of near denial (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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Pretty Good Synopsis of the Past 13 Years in the Economy

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:30 am

Watch:

My biggest quibble is that it doesn’t lay enough blame for the mess we’re in on the $6-plus trillion in budget deficits and the $7.5 trillion increase in the national debt which have occurred since January 20, 2009, and which can be laid primarily at the feet of Barack Obama and his administration.

Oh yeah, I’ve saved the video.

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (070615)

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: Jenny Oaks Baker and Condi Rice Play ‘Amazing Grace’

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

For the benefit of the Wounded Warriors Project — Watch (HT Twitchy):