I have been surprised that since January 21, the press has not put a more positive spin on the economy. (I did predict that on this blog and even noted that it had appeared to start even before the inauguration.) Wish they would, since consumer sentiment is tied to what the media tells them, and consumer sentiment drives future economy moves. Why I wondered, had the press not changed as I expected? Two possible answers struck me:
1. The current administration is downplaying expectations about their ability to move us out of recession. Lowering expectations allows them to more easily exceed those lower expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver. I get that. Perhaps the press is “playing along.” Not an impossible scenario given Chris Matthews’ statement that he feels his job is to help President Obama succeed.
2. Alternatively, the press is still about moving papers and getting viewers and headlines that read that Cat is laying of 20,000+ people along with layoffs by Home Depot and others, does make reader/viewer driving headlines.
I’m not sure which it is, but I do hope it stops soon. In the meantime I heard today that retail sales are expected to PLUMMET next year. (To be fair retail sales are virtually never lower one year over the next.) But plummet, well that was a shocker. Then I heard the definition of plummet:0.5%. Note that last year they rose modestly by 1.5% while this year they will plummet by 0.5%. Odd use of language.
Meanwhile Woolworth’s didn’t get the memo. Their sales for the last 6 months were 8% higher than the previous year’s same period. And while they are cautious about changing consumer sentiment, they are projecting an increase in sales year over year.
You do not have to agree to participate in this recession. Get out and make something happen, rather than sit there and watch things happen, or worse, hide in the corner and wonder what happened.