The Wilder View

Are economic conditions improving? Americans hear that they are

News readers are hearing a larger share of good economic news according to the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press:After months of bleak economic news, an increasing proportion of Americans now say they are hearing a mix of good and bad economic news, while fewer say they are hearing mostly bad news. As has been the case for the last few months, very few say they are hearing mostly good news about the economy.good+news.PNGAs I said this morning, the recent U.S. indicators – retail sales, housing starts, and inflation – are offering glimmers of economic hope. But the good news should probably be better described as “slightly less bad” news, as we are still in the middle of Q1 2009 and many forecasters still are calling for a decline until the third quarter of 2009.

The Wall Street Journal consensus forecast is listed here (which is a paid subscription) and includes -5.2% U.S. growth in Q1 2009, -1.9% growth in Q2 2009, and just 0.4% growth in Q3 2009. So the “good” economic news better represents a falling rate of U.S. economic decline in Q1 and Q2, rather than an actual recovery.

Another thing to think about is that financial markets (at least equities) improved over the last couple of weeks, which survey participants might confuse for “good economic news”.

Originally published at the News N Economics blog and reproduced here with the author’s permission.

One Response to “Are economic conditions improving? Americans hear that they are”

TristanMarch 19th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I know that in some unmonitored markets such as adult and stripping, other “escape” markets which suffered greatly in late 2007 and 2008, have rallied lately. This in addition to other things like cardboard box demand increases, the economy is probably improving very quickly and will be out of the news within 3 months.

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