Hey, who’s up for another Stagnant Spring?

posted at 1:21 pm on April 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

On Sunday, Secretary Treasury Tim Geithner hemmed and hawed a bit when asked by NBC’s David Gregory whether the US would have a third straight spring of disappointing economic growth.  Today, the New York Times tries to reset expectations — and make a few excuses, too:

Some of the same spoilers that interrupted the recovery in 2010 and 2011 have emerged again, raising fears that the winter’s economic strength might dissipate in the spring.

In recent weeks, European bond yields have started climbing. In the United States and elsewhere, high oil prices have sapped spending power. American employers remain skittish about hiring new workers, and new claims for unemployment insurance have risen. And stocks have declined.

There is a “light recovery blowing in a spring wind” with “dark clouds on the horizon,” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Thursday, at the start of meetings here that will focus on Europe’s troubles and global growth. Ms. Lagarde implored world leaders not to become complacent.

Forecasters have said that the trends point to a moderation of economic growth in the United States, but they still expect the recovery to continue this year. The slowdown in part reflects an unusually warm winter, which pulled forward economic activity, making January and February seem artificially good and perhaps making recent weeks look worse than they truly were.

Still, the breadth of the recent weakening of activity shows that the economy remains fragile, as is typical in the years following a financial crisis.

At the same time, the Department of Labor reported today that the disappointing jobs numbers in March was no anomaly.  Job growth slowed in a number of states:

Fewer U.S. states reported job gains last month, reflecting a slower pace of hiring nationwide.

The Labor Department says that 29 states reported job gains in March, while 20 states lost jobs. That’s worse than February, when 42 states added jobs.

Well, not to be too snarky about this, but what’s new, exactly, about these issues?  Europe’s debt crisis has been unfolding for years.  High oil and energy prices have been a perennial problem, not just in the US but around the world.  These are not acute issues, but chronic problems that Obama has had three years to address.

So far, he and his economic team still seem unprepared to offer real solutions.  As another Stagnant Spring approached, what has been this administration’s focus?  Hint: it hasn’t been to disentangle the US from the EU debt crisis or ramp up petroleum production and refining in the US.  The big push since the end of last summer has been the Buffett Rule, which would solve none of these issues, create no jobs, and only address less than one-half of one percent of the deficit and our own debt crisis.

Obama really needs Wall Street to bail him out, but these days, Wall Street has become a lot more skeptical of Obama — and of the data his administration produces on economics.  Elizabeth MacDonald reports at Fox Business that economists have begun to suspect something fishy in the initial weekly jobless claims reports from the Department of Labor:

The Department of Labor has revised higher the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in 58 out of the last 59 weeks.

The same has held true since the beginning of the year. There have been 14 weeks of jobless data this year, and there have been 14 revisions. And all 14 were revisions that made the claims picture higher than what the government originally reported. …

This is a very odd trend indeed; economists note it is not unusual for weekly jobless claims to be revised, as the government’s methodology for its initial estimate might not adequately take into account factors like seasonal adjustments or under-counting by states. But why are jobless claims now virtually always revised in the same direction — higher?

Wall Street is beginning to be more skeptical. Economists have already warned that jobless claims data should be viewed over time to pick up on trends.

Nomura Global Economics has taken a look at the issue, too, and warns Wall Street to bet that the revised numbers will be skewed higher. It notes that the undistorted trend likely lies closer to 370,000 to 380,000.

So the White House isn’t just losing credibility on their policies — they’re losing credibility on their statistics as well.  Don’t expect that to encourage investment this spring.


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Excuses, excuses, the dog ate my,…oh wait…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Dog eaters?

KOOLAID2 on April 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

You just wait, when Obamuh gets his Utopia – which includes a Command economy – he won’t have to worry about investments and markets!

You just wait!

OhEssYouCowboys on April 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Too bad this isn’t an election year…

Seven Percent Solution on April 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Elizabeth MacDonald reports at Fox Business that economists have begun to suspect something fishy in the initial weekly jobless claims reports from the Department of Labor:

Welcome to the party pal!

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Joe Biden will address that shortly!
He’ll be in charge!

KOOLAID2 on April 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Hey! Look, over there!

Women…er Dogs…er Cookies, ya, that’s the ticket…

MNHawk on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Dog shelters going out of business…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Baghdad Joe Biden “The Economy is Recovering”

Kini on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

$4 gas.

It causes everything to grind to a halt.

I don’t do anything but drive to work and drive home with $4 gas.

wildcat72 on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

We’re gonna ride this puppy till November…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

$4 gas.

It causes everything to grind to a halt.

I don’t do anything but drive to work and drive home with $4 gas.

wildcat72 on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

4 bucks, my foot! It’s “only” $3.89 around these parts.

Doughboy on April 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Dog days of summer are coming…..

search4truth on April 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

It would be interesting to take a look at which directions these figures were revised during the Bush and Clinton admin.

Fred 2 on April 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I can’t see Obama winning. He won with 52.9% of the popular vote. The liberal base is only about 40% tops of the popular vote.

No one who voted for McCain over Obama in 2008 is today regretting that decision. But disillusioned Obama voters are legion. He also benefited from the enthusiasm of being America’s first black presidential candidate. That trick only works once. And coming off of 8 years of GOP rule, there was GOP fatigue. And most importantly, people gave him a chance because the economy was imploding right after Bear Stearns a few weeks prior and people reached out to a fresh new face in economic panic.

None of those advantages exist today for Obama. And even with all those advantages, he still only got 52.9% of the popular vote.

That right there makes his re-election almost impossible.

keep the change on April 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

$4 gas.

It causes everything to grind to a halt.

I don’t do anything but drive to work and drive home with $4 gas.

wildcat72 on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

..and when Israel attacks Iran, it’ll be $8.00/Gal…minimum…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Old news, new package – they are commenting on the disappointing employment report from March. We already knew this; the question is were will the economy go from here. First look at 1Q12 GDP coming next week (looking for a surprise on the upside), followed by April jobs report the following week should be important clues. Mixed reports so far in April indicate some of the steam has gone out, but we are still growing. Meanwhile, corporate profits remain strong and the Dow is once again above 13K. Bullish, but cautious …

TouchdownBuddha on April 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

If those statistics are bunk, what’s the 8.2% unemployment mean?

JeffWeimer on April 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I don’t do anything but drive to work and drive home with $4 gas.

wildcat72 on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

LOL! Try 4.30.

upinak on April 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Well, it’s been more than three years. Looks like the “one term proposition” is a deal then.

My only fear is what happens to poor Bo once Obama doesn’t have to pretend to care about public opinion anymore.

Gingotts on April 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

On Sunday, Secretary Treasury Tim Geithner hemmed and hawed a bit when asked by NBC’s David Gregory whether the US would have a third straight spring of disappointing economic growth. Today, the New York Times tries to reset expectations — and make a few excuses, too:

Oh great, the preliminary numbers must be real bad, that they’re setting up the narrative this way.

rbj on April 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

This is a very odd trend indeed; economists note it is not unusual for weekly jobless claims to be revised, as the government’s methodology for its initial estimate might not adequately take into account factors like seasonal adjustments or under-counting by states. But why are jobless claims now virtually always revised in the same direction — higher?

Are they really asking this question seriously? One need only listen to the ABC news top of the hour updates on talk radio to know why. This week they reported “jobless claims fell by 2,000 this week”. Nary a mention that last week they reported 380,000 before revision to this week’s 386,000.

Is this really hard to figure out?

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Well isn’t this news just dandy? What oh what will ALL those kids out of school that want summer jobs be up to with nothing to do?

Why anyone takes the fuzzy numbers we get out of dc serious is beyond me? They all seem to be geared to make bho look good come he!! or high water, and not the truth in most cases.
L

letget on April 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Gas prices have dropped moderately ($.5 to .10/gallon) over the last week, at least in the Midwest. This is due to bad economic news, and they are still way too high.

Soetoro and the MSM will, of course, herald this as signs of a recovery and good news, all due to Barry. (Of course, 0bama does get some credit, but not in the way he wants to acknowledge.) The meme that “the President can do nothing about gas prices” we’ve heard for the last few months will conveniently be forgotten.

A few more months of “recovery” in the 0bama economy, and gas prices might be much lower, so there is that.

MidniteRambler on April 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

If those statistics are bunk, what’s the 8.2% unemployment mean?

JeffWeimer on April 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Well 8.2% of Americans are looking for work but can’t find it.

So they’re stuck at home with the other 15% who gave up ages ago because they know it’s a lost cause with this idiot in the White House, but we don’t like to talk about them…

Gingotts on April 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

And new claims for unemployment insurance have risen.

Wait. What? Every headline for the past 5 weeks says “unemployment claims drop.” Oh. Right. After the previous week was revised up.

Start: 355,000

Week 1: 350,000
Headline: Unemployment claims drop to 350,000
Week 1 revised up to 365,000

Week 2: 362,000
Headline: Unemployment claims drop to 362,000
Week 2 revised up to 375,000

Week 3: 370,000
Headline: Unemployment claims drop to 370,000
Week 3 revised up to 383,000

Week 4: 380,000
Headline: Unemploynent claims drop to 380,000
Week 4 revised up to 388,000

Week5 (this week) 386,000
Headline: Unemploynent claims drop to 386,000

This will be revised up to low 390s so next week’s will come in as a “drop” for headline/newscast propaganda.

kevinkristy on April 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Expect the price of dog meat to skyrocket.

The Rogue Tomato on April 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Recovery Summer I II III…

cartooner on April 20, 2012 at 1:42 PM

So the White House isn’t just losing credibility on their policies — they’re losing credibility on their statistics as well. Don’t expect that to encourage investment this spring.

Layoffs to the right of them, layoffs to the left of them, Zero is absent except for the frequent threat of veto while Hilda Solis massages the stats and marches with Al Sharpton.

“I believe in the power of collective action. We all play a role. We all march.”

http://freebeacon.com/department-of-propaganda/

They see no action by the DEMS to fix the current employment problem before the election and Wall street calculates the consequences.

dogsoldier on April 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I like Stinky Spring, thanks to the Canine Connoisseur!

Anyone seen BO the dog lately, have the girls taken him/her away from skinny?

ConcealedKerry on April 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Dog shelters going out of business…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Things are getting pretty ruff out there.

The Rogue Tomato on April 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM

If those statistics are bunk, what’s the 8.2% unemployment mean?

JeffWeimer on April 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

That’s how many people are collecting. The remainder are no longer counted.

88 Million people are no longer in the workforce. BLS reports the labor participation rate is 64% (sorry for my error on this yesterday. I misreported it at 59%)

What are the other 36% doing? Ans: Looking for Alpo.

dogsoldier on April 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

We are just goin’ to have to “ruff-it”

Electrongod on April 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

This will be revised up to low 390s so next week’s will come in as a “drop” for headline/newscast propaganda.

kevinkristy on April 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

The Presstitutes are really gettin down on their knees, bending over, and twisting themselves into pretzels for their Canine Connoisseur!

Bone appetite!

ConcealedKerry on April 20, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Mr.President, please take another vacation soon! The optics will be terrific! Anything to take our minds off of the “third straight spring of disappointing economic growth.” And that unfortunate dog feeding frenzy.

BHO Jonestown on April 20, 2012 at 1:48 PM

4 bucks, my foot! It’s “only” $3.89 around these parts.

Doughboy on April 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Almost $5 here in Hawaii.

esnap on April 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I need to hear what angryed has to say before I can make an informed comment.

JPeterman on April 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

How in the heck do these people get any kind of approval rating.
There should be a jail sentence for being stupid!

KOOLAID2 on April 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

kevinkristy on April 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

But at least your chocolate ration has been increased from 8 grams to 6 grams.

Orwell was only off by 3 decades or so.

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

We are just goin’ to have to “ruff-it”

Electrongod on April 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I think I see what you did there…/

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hate to mention it but the price of gas isn’t going up, the value of the dollar is going down. I’ll know you’re on to something when the headlines talk about rampant inflation instead of just rising prices.

James Moriarty on April 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Expect the price of dog meat to skyrocket.

The Rogue Tomato on April 20, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It’s up to a good rib-eye these days…

PatriotRider on April 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

So far, he and his economic team still seem unprepared to offer real solutions.

No surprise there. In this age of 24/7 news cycles and perpetual campaigning, no politician wants to offer any solution to anything. Or more to the point, none of them want to actually vote or act on them, just talk about them. Heaven forbid, if they do actually act on anything, their internal polling tells them they may lose X number of voters. As long as they just talk, they don’t actually win or lose votes (or so they think), and they can’t actually be pinned down on anything with a voting record. Words can always be spun, legislative votes can’t (or not as easily). And of course, votes to keep them in office are far more important than actually… you know… doing anything.

gravityman on April 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I just heard PresNitWit and Jo Biteme proclaiming how well this hing is turning around what with the market up, oopps, unemployment coming down, oopps, oil drilling up, and Bin Laden in the drink, U shore?

Canine Connoisseur and his trusty side kick are making this stuff up faster than Won can say Puppy sandwich!

Saw PresNitWits talking head on Fox News this morning filling Gretchen in on the wonderfullness of dog breath!

ConcealedKerry on April 20, 2012 at 1:57 PM

A trillion dollars later and still no recovery.

Thank you President Obama.

-crr6

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

But at least your chocolate ration has been increased from 8 grams to 6 grams.

Orwell was only off by 3 decades or so.

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Love it. Love Orwell’s works.

That Commie in the White House, and his toadies, are absolutely capable of spewing this kind of mind-numbing CommieThink – and defending it.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I’m too young to remember. How long did it take Reagan to turn the economy around?

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Those Iranian terrorists released the hostages the day he got sworn in i believe and the recovery started then.

ConcealedKerry on April 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Elizabeth MacDonald reports at Fox Business that economists have begun to suspect something fishy in the initial weekly jobless claims reports from the Department of Labor:

Welcome to the party pal!

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Comment of the Day™

Steve Eggleston on April 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Obama’s looking forward to:

RecOVERy Summer…

The Dog Days of Summer….

ITguy on April 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I’m too young to remember. How long did it take Reagan to turn the economy around?

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

GDP growth

1981: I don’t have, but it was a recession
1982: -2.0
1983: 4.3
1984: 7.3
1985: 3.85
1986: 3.4
1987: 3.4
1988: 4.2
1989: 3.5

Here’s some data on Reagan:

Is it not a FACT, Jack?

Reaganomics v. Obamanomics: Facts And Figures

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

88 Million people are no longer in the workforce. BLS reports the labor participation rate is 64% (sorry for my error on this yesterday. I misreported it at 59%)

What are the other 36% doing?

dogsoldier on April 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Either working for the Gubmint and getting rich off Obummer’s $5 trillion debt, or not working and collecting unemployment benefits for 99 weeks from Obummer’s $5 trillion debt.

Hu Jintao is raffing all the ray to the bank.

Steve Z on April 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Something I’m missing here?

Whats wrong with that?

liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

JPeterman on April 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Thanks! That’s awesome! Ima use this and pass it along.

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Dog eaters?
KOOLAID2 on April 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Lol! If things keep going the way they are, we’ll all be dog eaters by the end of Obamao’d second term.

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

We can also look back to what George W. Bush “inherited” and what he did to turn the economy around…

Bush inherited both the Dot.Com bust and the 9/11 attacks, both of which pushed our economy into recession.

What did Bush do? He passed the Bush Tax Cuts, which turned the economy around.

The economy did not start getting worse again until the Democrats took majority control in January 2007.

Look at the last 10 years of the:

Employment-Population Ratio
Correlated with Political Party of Majority Control

The positive inflection point was…
the signing of the second part of the Bush Tax Cuts in 2003.

The negative inflection point was January 2007
… when Democrats took majority control.

It wasn’t Bush and the Republicans who drove the economy into the ditch… it was the Democrats who took majority control in January 2007 and who still hold majority control to this day.

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

What is, perhaps, worse about this proposed massive tax increase is that it would hit Americans at the same time that other tax cuts are expiring and various Obamacare tax hikes are taking effect. Consequently, Americans could face up to a $494 billion tax increase in 2013 — what some are calling Taxmageddon.

This Taxmageddon woud have the exact opposite effect that the Bush Tax cuts had in 2003-2006. That is to say that this Taxmageddon would make the Employment-Population Ratio drop precipitously. Double-dip recession ==> Outright Depression.

ITguy on April 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Something I’m missing here?

Whats wrong with that?

liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

JPeterman on April 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

That was on the Gov. Dean comment touting the liberal “Separate but Equal” treatment of protected classes.

I miss that gal

Jabberwock on April 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

ITguy on April 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

This will bring out the Angry One.

Jabberwock on April 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

These are not acute issues, but chronic problems that Obama has had three years to address.

Barry has addressed this issues. He keeps kicking the can down the road.

As for the NYT’s, you’ll note that stagnation is now called “moderate growth”.

Somewhere George Orwell is laughing his ass off!

GarandFan on April 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

You’re welcome. Pass it on…

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

ITguy on April 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Yep, I’ve run the Bush numbers, too. There are on my blog, as well.

When Obama talks about inheritances, he neglects to mention that he also inherited a AAA credit rating and $1.84/gal gas.

Now, gas is $4 and the US has suffered two downgrades.

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Resist We Much on April 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Thanks! That’s awesome! Ima use this and pass it along.

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM

ditto.

Lost in Jersey on April 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Today, the New York Times tries to reset expectations — and make a few excuses, too:

I made this prediction when the NYT/CBS poll showed a split.

Brooks last column, where he officially sold his soul, was another sign.

NYT already had this info, and they know which way things are heading.

While they’ll never endorse Romney, we’re beginning to see a crack in the NYT Obama tank.

They may not care what we on the right feel, but NYT are beginning to comtemplate if Barry’s failures will do irreparable damage to their name amongst the elites.

It’s one thing for the op-ed to be jackass heaven; they’re sycophants. But it’s another for the reporting division to be pulled under with this much competition in the news market.

budfox on April 20, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Lol! If things keep going the way they are, we’ll all be dog eaters by the end of Obamao’d second term.

jawkneemusic on April 20, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Remember when politicians just warned that their opponent’s ideas would have old people eating dog food?

Happy Nomad on April 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

My only fear is what happens to poor Bo once Obama doesn’t have to pretend to care about public opinion anymore.

Gingotts on April 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Ya’ll listen to me! You re-elect me, or the dog gets it! I’m not kidding! /BHO campaign 2012

Actually, that would be about the best hope the DNC has. Expect to see this bumper sticker soon:

Obama 2012
… or the dog gets it

AZfederalist on April 20, 2012 at 7:04 PM

LOL! Try 4.30.

upinak on April 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

LMAO.

Down the street…..$4.65.

ABO 2012.

Tim_CA on April 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM