The economy’s doing great if you ignore the economic data.
Last week we learned that new home sales for May reached an all-time low–not good.
Yesterday, the Conference Board released its consumer confidence report and it wasn’t pretty:
…[T]he Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dropped 9.8 points to 52.9 in June, below the lowest estimate of 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. A regional breakdown shows three of the four areas with the biggest declines border the Gulf of Mexico.
Sentiment plunged by 18 points in the East South Central, which includes Mississippi and Alabama. Confidence fell by 14 points in the South Atlantic, which includes Florida, and dropped by 11 points in the West South Central, where Louisiana is located. The Middle Atlantic states of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey saw a 12 point decrease.
No doubt the oil spill has played a significant role in plunging consumer confidence. But it still doesn’t account for all of it (note the 12 point decrease in the NJ-NY-PA region):
Confidence dropped more than would be suggested by the decrease in the Conference Board’s employment figures […] indicating there may be more at play in depressing sentiment.
Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center is less convinced. “The fact that we had a decline in a majority of regions speaks to the greater issue,” she said in an interview from New York. “It really does come down to jobs, and that is something that is impacting consumers across the board.”
And when consumer confidence is lagging, they, you know, don’t buy stuff:
Consumers’ plans to buy automobiles, appliances and homes declined in June, with the percentage of people who said they intend to buy a car dropping to the lowest since records began in 1967, today’s report showed. Vacation plans also fell.
People buying stuff is a big part of what keeps the American economy humming, so none of this is good news. And let’s not forget unemployment at 10%. Not good.
But all of this bad news doesn’t stop the Obama propaganda machine from rolling along:
“The economy is strengthening, we are into recovery,” Obama said, shortly after new figures showed that consumer confidence, a key economic indicator, had tumbled in June, sending stock markets worldwide plummeting.
We can’t have facts from economic data get in the way of a great fantasy. This is nothing but pure propaganda. The White House knows that it can’t afford to lose the American people on the economy. Not with elections coming up in November and reelection in a little over two years away.