Parade on the March Again, Downbeat on Economy

Parade on the March Again, Downbeat on Economy
Magazine leaves out strong economy, Bernankes forecast of soft landing in housing.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
May 22, 2006

     Nationally syndicated Parade magazine once again marched to Sunday newspaper readers doorsteps sounding sour notes on the American economy.

     Weeks after envisioning the American Dream slipping out of reach for most Americans, the magazine ran a pessimistic report on housing values warning that nearly 80% of Americans think the economy will continue as is or worsen in the coming year. But Parade writer Earl Swift didnt tell readers how well the economy has been performing, or that Fed chairman Ben Bernanke forecasts a cooling housing market without severe economic impact.

     Swift began his May 21 article with the story of Jim and Shelby Griffin of Virginia Beach, Va., who are finding out that the wild housing boom of the past few years is over. Swift transitioned from the Griffins trouble in selling their condo to a Parade survey of 1,000 home owners who are pessimistic about the countrys economic health.

     Despite those homeowners opinions, the economy is in fact doing pretty well. The economy grew at an annual pace of 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2006, with a low 4.7 percent unemployment rate in April. While the May 2006 jobs report was weaker than many economists expected, economists didnt believe that Aprils slower job growth was a sign that the economy is heading for a serious setback, the Associated Press reported on May 5.

     Amidst that growth, it seems pretty clear now that the U.S. housing market is cooling, the Associated Press quoted Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on May 18. Bernanke described the slowdown as a very orderly and moderate kind of cooling in the housing market. AP writer Jeannine Aversa added that Many economists predict growth will moderate to around 3% in the April-to-June quarter, which is still a good pace.

     The Business & Media Institute recently documented how the April 23 Parade rained on the strong economy with a cover story by a liberal blogger who blamed military contractor Halliburton for the war in Iraq.