Watching the nation’s mainstream news networks would lead you to believe that President Donald Trump is a racist Russian spy terrified that he’ll be thrown out of office just as soon as Robert Mueller scares someone into dishing dirt. Meanwhile, there’s a big economic story the mainstream media is refusing to cover.
According to a series of recent polls, Trump’s approval rating is plummeting in recent weeks. And that’s because the media is providing round-the-clock coverage of the Russia collusion investigation which has yet to provide a single shred of evidence against the president.
Still, negative coverage of the Trump administration is the media norm. According to a Pew study out earlier this month, mainstream media coverage of Trump’s first 60 days in office offered “negative assessments” of the president 62 percent of the time. That’s just under three times as much negative press aimed at each of Trump’s two immediate predecessors for the same period.
Meanwhile, behind all the front-page and prime-time reports about Trump’s maybe, probably, hopefully being a Russian stooge, massive economic improvement is being ignored.
It seems that all of Hillary Clinton’s adoring fans in the media have totally forgotten the phrase James Carville coined during the 1992 presidential cycle, “The economy, stupid.”
And since the stupid mainstream media isn’t going to push any reports about great things happening with the economy to the front of the page anytime soon, here are a few you should read.
Consumer confidence is higher than it has been in 17 YEARS!
According to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, American spenders feel better about their personal economic outlooks than they have since December 2000.
From the Conference Board:
The Index now stands at 125.9 (1985=100), up from 120.6 in September. The Present Situation Index increased from 146.9 to 151.1, while the Expectations Index rose from 103.0 last month to 109.1.
“Consumer confidence increased to its highest level in almost 17 years in October after remaining relatively flat in September,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, boosted by the job market which had not received such favorable ratings since the summer of 2001. Consumers were also considerably more upbeat about the short-term outlook, with the prospect of improving business conditions as the primary driver. Confidence remains high among consumers, and their expectations suggest the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace for the remainder of the year.”
The Conference Board provided the following breakdown of consumer attitudes about the economy:
The percentage saying business conditions are “good” increased from 33.4 percent to 34.5 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” rose marginally from 13.2 percent to 13.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was more upbeat. The percentage of consumers stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 32.7 percent to 36.3 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased slightly from 18.0 percent to 17.5 percent.
…The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months increased from 20.9 percent to 22.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen decreased from 9.6 percent to 6.9 percent.
Home price increases appear “unstoppable”
When builders are building and buyers are buying, you can bet that an economic upswing is underway.
And if the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index is any indicator, the economy is improving… bigly.
According to the index, home prices across the nation rose to 6.1 percent in August, up from 5.9 percent the month prior.
“Home price increases appear to be unstoppable,” says David Blitzer, managing director of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones. “August saw the National Index annual rate tick up to 6.1 percent; all 20 cities followed in the report were up year-over-year while one, Atlanta, saw the seasonally adjusted monthly number slip 0.2 percent. Most prices across the rest of the economy are barely moving compared to housing.”
Blitzer says a combination of low interest rates and an improving economy are largely responsible for the upward pricing trend. But, he added, “The price gains are not simply a rebound from the financial crisis; nationally and in nine of the 20 cities in the report, home prices have reached new all-time highs.”
So how is the economy really doing?
It didn’t get front page play, but The Wall Street Journal’s Morning MoneyBeat Newsletter included a pretty positive headline Tuesday: “Surprise! The Economy Is Beating Forecasts Again.”
The report was based on the latest readings from Citigroup’s U.S. Economic Suprise Index, which shows that the U.S. economy is outperforming economic forecasts for the first time since April.
And CNBC admitted with little fanfare last week that Trump has reached his goal of 3 percent economic growth without yet getting much of his legislative economic agenda underway.
From the report:
Third-quarter GDP grew by 3 percent, well above the 2.5 percent expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters and below the 2.8 percent in the CNBC/Moody’s Rapid Update. The third-quarter number comes on top of 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter, making for the best back-to-back quarters since 2014 and ending a long streak of sluggish 2 percent growth.
One factor aiding the improvement was an 8.6 percent annualized rise in business spending on capital equipment, coming on top of an 8.8 percent pace in the second quarter.
“Give credit where credit is due,” wrote Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “Trump’s economics team has been steering the country since January, and the economy has hit the Administration’s 3 percent target two quarters in a row. … This economy in its ninth year of expansion shows no sign of tiring and turning down and may outlast the 10 years of growth during the Clinton presidency.”
Pretty impressive stuff for a Russian stooge.