Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch”

Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch”

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Shopper outlook for the U.S. economy in 2020 is the weakest it has been in eight years, according to the 2019 Holiday Survey of Consumers conducted by Deloitte. Nearly half of respondents (44%) see the economy weakening significantly or modestly in the coming year. In 2011, 37% felt the same.

Source: Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch

Since the story cherry picked 2011, how accurate was this poll for predicting the 2012 economic outcome?

  • In 2012, overall GDP grew by 2.2%, which is a level judged as “healthy”.
  • Over 2 million new jobs were created and unemployment dropped from 8.9% to 7.8%.
  • Retail sales rose over 5%.
  • Inflation was a low 1.7%
  • Energy prices tracked modestly higher but then retreated

Empirically, the 2011 poll failed, a point which is not noted in this news report.

Public opinion polls are primarily a measure of the success of prior propaganda messaging campaigns. The public is frequently polled to express opinions on subjects they have little expert knowledge of and respond with the messages delivered to them via prior propaganda.

There have been continuous news reports (propaganda) of a recession looming in 2019. No one has demonstrated an ability to predict future recessions with any accuracy. But when repeatedly told by “experts” to expect a recession, we begin to believe it and modify our behavior in ways that may trigger an economic downturn.

Additionally, the news media almost always focus on the negative and the sensational. Oddly, this Marketwatch story is the headline story on November 27th, 2019 – yet is followed by a string of positive economic news that contradict the most prominent story on the page. This suggests the media is intentionally promoting the recession hypothesis and/or using it as emotional (fear mongering) click-bait.

On the first bullet point, at bottom, holiday sales are already up 15% over the prior year by this date.

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