Translating the AP's Coverage of Today's Consumer Confidence Report

Here's the opening of today's Associated Press report about the July Consumer Confidence Index (bolds are mine):

Consumer confidence hit a six-year high in July, a widely watched gauge of sentiment showed on Tuesday, as Americans shrugged off falling home prices to focus on a healthy jobs market, instead.

The New York-based Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index, rebounded to 112.6, its highest level since August 2001 when it recorded a 114.0 reading. That compared to a revised 105.3 in June. The July 24 cutoff for the preliminary survey of 5,000 U.S. households was before last week's stock market tumble, however.

Translation: This report doesn't mean much. By the time we harp on last week's HORRIBLE stock market, downplay last Friday's good GDP report (what was it again? Oh, 3.4%), totally ignore the 11%-plus increase in real disposable income in just four years (2.8% per year for 2003-2006; scroll down), and keep reminding people about the non-existent housing crisis (prices, as shown here, are NOT "falling"), that confidence number will come back down.

It has to. A six-year high is bad enough; we surely can't afford to let the index get to an 8-year high, or someone might get the mistaken idea that the current economy is as good as or (heaven forbid) even better than the Golden Age of the 1990s (even though by a couple of respected measures it is).

Move along now.

Cross-posted at

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.