AP Math: 0.6% Rise is 'Feeble', 0.6% Decline is 'Plunge'

Want an even clearer picture of how media are intentionally reporting economic data in a way that makes the public feel things are much worse than they are?

Consider the different adjectives the good folks at the Associated Press use to describe a 0.6 percent change depending on whether or not it's an increase or a decrease.

As reported by NewsBusters two weeks ago, when the Commerce Department announced that retail sales for February had declined by 0.6 percent, the Associated Press declared that a "plunge."

Yet, when the Gross Domestic Product grows by a similar amount, the AP reports it as "feeble" (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Matthew Noll):

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product increased at a feeble 0.6 percent annual rate in the October-to-December quarter. The reading -- unchanged from a previous estimate a month ago -- provided stark evidence of just how much the economy has weakened. In the prior quarter, the economy clocked in at a sizzling 4.9 percent growth rate.

How do these people look at themselves in the mirror each morning?

Economy Business Coverage Associated Press
Noel Sheppard's picture


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