AP's Lame Excuse for Consumer Confidence Dive: It Missed Post-May 18 Gas Price Drop

Warning: The following cop-out explanation by Associated Press Retail Writer Mae Anderson will make many readers' heads hurt. Knowledge that she found an economist willing to support it may cause migraines.

Consumer confidence as reported by The Conference Board fell to 60.8 in May from 66.0 in April -- "unexpectedly," of course, as the headline for Ms. Anderson's article indicates.

But really, it was just a blip and super-duper confidence is just around the corner. Just ask Chris Christopher (yeah, that's his real name):

Part of the problem in May was that the confidence survey's cutoff of May 18 did not give consumers enough time to react to falling gas prices, which peaked early in the month, IHS Global Insight Economist Chris Christopher said.

 

"We expect consumer confidence to pick up next month because those respondents will be able to show appreciation for falling gasoline prices," he added.

Y'know Chris, I'm having a hard time with this "appreciation" idea, and I'll bet I'm not alone. The following national gas price chart will show you why:

US12monthGasPriceChart060111

So let me get this straight: Even though prices throughout almost all of 2010 were under $3 a gallon, consumers will "appreciate" the post-May 18 drop to $3.75, and will be doing cartwheels if the price drops to maybe $3.50 later this summer.

What in the world is Chris Christopher smoking?

And though it's only one part of the country, prices in Greater Cincinnati have taken a decided leap during the past few days:

Cincy3monthGasPriceChart060111

They're not exactly on a straight line to $3.50. And I for one don't "appreciate" that.

Ms. Mae Anderson needs to find economists with a better grasp of reality.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.