It appears that someone might need to schedule an intervention with the Associated Press's economics writers.
In his dispatch published a half-hour after the government's March release on international trade at 8:30 this morning, the wire service's Martin Crutsinger quoted a normally upbeat economist who was singing the blues about the result's effect on previously reported first-quarter economic growth. Now, he said, the economy "undoubtedly contracted slightly in the first quarter" by an estimated 0.3 percent. But about an hour later, the AP's Christopher Rugaber ignored this assessment — and that of many others — in his writeup covering the 10 a.m. release of the Institute for Supply Management's Non-Manufacuring Index. Don't these guys talk to each other?