NY Times Sounds Downbeat on Upbeat Economy

NY Times Sounds Downbeat on Upbeat Economy
Reporter Peters downplays strong GDP revision and hunts for signs of slowdown.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
May 25, 2006

     The New York Times saw signs of a slowing economy in a May 25 Business section report. Just hours later, however, the government revised its report for economic growth upward to 5.3 percent.

     A cooling in new-home sales and durable goods orders, were seen as pointing to a softening economy, Times reporter Jeremy Peters opened his article. While he noted that investors attention would turn to the revised GDP figure for the first quarter, Peters downplayed the reports significance.

     Following the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release indicating a 5.3 percent economic growth rate, Peters again put a damper on the news in an online report: The economy grew at a faster rate in the first quarter than the government first reported, but all indications still point to more moderate growth for the remainder of the year.

     Other recent good news also escaped Peterss notice. Reuters reported that the price index for personal consumption fell 4/10ths from the last quarter of 2005 to 2 percent in the first quarter of 2006. Additionally, personal consumption spending which fuels two-thirds of national economic activity, is at a strong 5.2 percent in the first quarter.

     The Business & Media Institute has previously documented how The New York Times carries downbeat coverage of the economy.