It looks like someone in the establishment business press might be getting a little touchy about the razzing they continually receive for delivering "unexpectedly" bad economic news.
As captured by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit and corroborated in this Google News description, Bloomberg's 10:16 a.m. report on consumer sentiment told readers that "Consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in June to a seven-month low, indicating that slowing employment gains are weighing on Americans' outlooks."
At 11:31 a.m. -- to be clear, not influenced by Reynolds's post, which went up shortly after noon -- a sanitized version of the report by Alex Kowalski and Jillian Berman read as follows:
Consumer confidence dropped to a seven-month low in June as Americans grew concerned about the outlook for jobs and wages.
The Conference Board’s sentiment index decreased to 58.5 from a revised 61.7 in May that was higher than previously estimated, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today.
Isn't it just great how the crew presided over by flaming liberal Al Hunt (link is to NewsBusters tag with previous posts) cleaned the up report up? Oh how they spiffed it up:
- The result of today's report is no longer unexpected; reporters "somehow" decided that describing it as such was no longer an important observation.
- The negatively (and correctly) framed "slowing employment gains" turned into a neutral "outlook for jobs and wages."
- A (correctly) negatively framed "weighing on" changed into a relatively neutral statement that Americans "grew concerned."
Though it's not possible to know without seeing the full early report, which I could not locate, it seems odd that Bloomberg waited until paragraphs 7 and 8 to give us the gory consumer confidence details:
Economists predicted a June reading of 61, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Projections ranged from 55 to 66.7 in the survey of 69 economists. The index averaged 98 during the last economic expansion that ended in December 2007.
The group’s measure of present conditions deceased to 37.6 from 39.3 in May. The measure of expectations for the next six months dropped to 72.4, the lowest since October, from 76.7.
True, the paragraphs that came between weren't exactly upbeat, but the figures just present are even more troubling. Why separate them from originally presented lead paragraphs?
One more thing: Maybe I shouldn't make note of this, but the description at a Bloomberg video discussing today's economic reports still has the dreaded "U" word.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.