First, the good news. The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger didn't handle his coverage of today's release of May's "Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales" report by the Census Bureau as incompetently as he did the report on wholesale sales and inventories he filed on Friday. Visitors here may recall that the AP reporter referred to a key figure as "inventories" when it really represented "sales." As a result, the typical reader of Crutsinger's Friday AP dispatch could not have known that he was either ignorantly or deliberately covering up a serious 3.8 percent decline in year-over-year sales (6.8 percent before seasonal adjustment) — yet another in a string of such troubling monthly comparative decreases.
The bad news is that in covering the government's manufacturing-related report today, Crutsinger failed to report yet another serious year-over-year sales decline in an economy which we're supposed to believe is growing. Many readers will come away from Crutsinger's coverage and its accompanying headline believing that things are really all right. They're not.