Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Untwisting Bloomberg's Economic News: 4th Try

This one comes almost complete from Our Man in Academia, Special Agent "Dr. Paul"

Bloomberg's article has been updated 4 times (as of now) since originally published. Copy of original article posted here.

Headline Now Reads:
U.S. Consumers Spent Average of 3.5% Less on Shopping (Update4)

Dr. Paul's Report is as follows.....

Article by Cotton Timberlake and Tiffany Kary - Bloomberg News In the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, November 26
Headline - Section C:
"US Consumers Spent Less on Holiday Shopping"

Number of store visits UP 4.8%
Sales Thursday UP 8.3%
Sales Thursday and Friday combined UP 7.2%

The Article's Message:

Average spending DOWN 3.5% ($347.44)

Dr. Paul's Evaluation of the Article:

I don't understand how the combination of the following "facts" presented in the article add up to the 'headline'

1. "U.S. Consumers spent 3.5 percent less during the post Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend than a year earlier, as retailers slashed prices to lure customers grappling with higher food and energy costs." [This is the reporter 'talking']

2. Page C1 - end of second paragraph: "Store visits increased 4.8 percent."

3. Page C3 - "More than 147 million consumers visited stores over the weekend…The average amount spent last year was helped by increased sales of HD TVs,” NRF spokesman Scott Krugman said.

4. "It's the saturation of HD TVs into the market, and the retailers recognizing that consumers will be more conservative this year and focusing on lower-priced merchandise," he said. [This is the EXPERT talking]

5. Page C3 - last 2 paragraphs:

6. "Sales on the day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday because it was the day that retailers traditionally turn a profit for the year, ROSE 8.3 PERCENT from a year earlier to $10.3 billion, Chicago-based research firm ShopperTrak RCT Corp. said"


7. "Combined sales for Friday and Saturday ROSE 7.2 percent to 16.4 billion, the firm said Sunday."

Dr. Paul's Conclusion:



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