Friday, March 09, 2012

Economic Roundup...

Earlier this year, S&P lowered the credit ratings for eight European countries, including two notches down for Italy, Spain and Portugal, one notch down for France & Austria. And Italy and France are on "negative outlook". And we all know the mess that Greece is in (Ireland, too).

Gas prices are spiking... again. Out here in my neck of the woods, one of the cheapest gas stations (an Arco close to my home) has 87 octane at $4.27/gallon. It's up approximately 72-82 cents since Christmas day.

And how is the MSM treating the reporting of the gas price issue today vs. eight years ago under Bush? Interesting:

The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).

Coverage during the time periods differed not only in quantity, but in tone as well. During Bush’s tenure, gas prices were a huge economic threat and cause of suffering. The networks also used the high gas prices to attack the administration. In 2012, the networks aired mostly matter-of-fact stories on the rising gas prices, and worried primarily that they would hinder the economic recovery, not that they are making people suffer.

Thew fake unemployment numbers are out. The non-seasonally adjusted Gallup poll suggests it's actually a bit higher. The real numbers show something else. Include those who no longer get unemployment benefits, and those who have stopped looking for work, and the rate is 9.8%. Add people who have only part-time jobs, and want full-time jobs, and the rate is 14.9%.

Then factor in those who are working full-time and who have had to take pay cuts, and those whose monthly outlays are higher than they used to be, and... well... you know.

Wholesale inventory numbers aren't good, either.

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