ABC Treats Rise in Consumer Confidence as Bad News
When is an increase in consumer confidence bad news? When ABC reports it.
Network anchor George Stephanopoulos led off the August 19 "World News" with this gloom-and-doom teaser: âTerrible Tuesday. Inflation surges. Stocks dive. And consumer confidence nears a record low.â
But Stephanopoulos left out a key detail: consumer confidence increased according to the networkâs own measure. â
Instead, reporter Betsy Stark addressed rising inflation and declining stocks and ignored the rise in confidence. âThe government's latest report on inflation sent a powerful signal that the beleaguered American consumer may not have faced the worst of it yet,â said Stark.
Stephanopoulos concluded the segment by adding that âconsumer confidence is just two points from a record low.â He called it âa real blow to retailers who are hoping for strong back-to-school sales this year.â
Apparently, the American consumer isnât quite as downbeat. While the numbers donât show a major uptick, they did improve. âAccording to the survey, 11% of respondents expressed confidence in the economy, up from 10% the week before. Also, 47% of those polled said their own finances were in good standing, unchanged from the prior week. In assessing the buying climate, 19% of respondents said it was good, up from 18% a week earlier,â Dow Jones reported.
Stark continued ABCâs negative tone, warning that job losses were the solution. âEconomists say the cure for this kind of pervasive price inflation is a bitter pill. Which is, if more Americans were to lose their jobs and have even less to spend, prices would probably come down.â
She reinforced this view with comments from Bruce Kasman, chief economist with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), who added this: âThe solution from the point of view of the
But Stark didnât include any other options, like a tightening of the money supply. First Trust Advisors L.P. Chief Economist Brian Wesbury warned about the problems of inflation in the August 19 Wall Street Journal, saying âour economy is addicted once again to easy money and low interest rates.â