The Media's Vote of No Confidence in the Economy

June 29th, 2006 1:57 PM

Over the past few years, the media have consistently given a vote of no confidence to the U.S. economy, my colleague Amy Menefee wrote over at yesterday.

Her article shows how disconnected from reality the media are. Her points hit home even harder in light of today's announcement by the Bureau of Economic Analysis that GDP grew at 5.6 percent in the first three months of 2006.

TV journalists have been warning of “stagflation,” a bursting housing bubble, and even “recession,” but consumers are far more confident about the economy than journalists.

ABC’s Robin Roberts cautioned viewers about a major downturn. “The two-day sell off was sparked by concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates too much, cooling the economy to the point of recession,” she warned on the June 7 “Good Morning America.” That was after first-quarter growth had been revised up to 5.3 percent.

CBS’s Julie Chen echoed the negative tone. “Gas prices are rising, stock prices are slumping and consumer confidence is shaky at best,” she said on the May 18 “Early Show.”

Now the news is out that consumer confidence is up higher than forecast – from 104.7 in May to 105.7 in June. New home sales are up 4.6 percent – when they were expected to decline 4 percent.

So will this lift the media confidence index?

It’s doubtful, considering none of the three broadcast networks reported the rise in consumer confidence on the June 27 evening news shows, following the latest release.