by Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner
Don’t believe everything you read in the mainstream media. Especially don’t believe anything in the financial news media until you’ve looked at the data yourself. It’s no wonder investors are so often caught flatfooted in the markets. Financial “journalists” feed their readers and viewers a constant stream of misinformation and bad data. Financial reporters are so atrocious at serving their audience I have to believe that they are, wittingly or unwittingly, part of a deliberate and elaborate campaign of disinformation… unless you believe in Coincidence Theory.
Housing starts collapsed in November. They weren’t good, they weren’t even so-so as media reports intimated. The seasonally adjusted annualized number which the paid flacks report is absolute nonsense. It’s fiction.
Actual, not seasonally adjusted single family starts were down by 10,400 units in November to 47,700 units. November is always a down month but this was the worst November performance since 2008, in the teeth of the housing crash. On a year to year basis starts were down by 6.3%. It’s absurd that you can’t find that fact anywhere near the mainstream media headlines. In fact, Bloomberg outright lied about it, “While housing starts declined 1.6 percent…” They used the fictitious data. It’s not ok to use seasonally adjusted data because it “usually” accurately reflects the trend.It is especially not ok to use it when reporting the year to year change, which obviously has NO seasonality.
Multifamily starts fell 10.6% year over year.
A picture tells the story at a glance.
This kind of misimpression happens often enough that it is damaging and dangerous, fooling not only the public and the media which disseminates it, but also the genius clowns who make policy.