VANCOUVER, Canada ( Bullions Bull Canada) -- Perverse reporting of economic data by the media is nothing new. However, what is newsworthy is when that same media explicitly acknowledges such perversity. Such open manipulation of the news was on display today.The context is the accelerating Depression in the U.S. retail sector which, as the propaganda machine itself regularly acknowledges, represents more than three-quarters of the total U.S. economy. In March, the revised numbers indicated U.S. retail sales plummeting by -0.5%. However, that number is neither adjusted for inflation nor is it reported at an annualized rate as are most economic statistics. Let me perform those adjustments. Currently, U.S. inflation is somewhere close to 20%. This is likely a conservative estimate, given that as recently as July of last year the World Bank was reporting that global food inflation was running at a current, annualized rate of 120%. An annual inflation rate of nearly 20% works out to roughly 1.5%/month. When we subtract that number from the "raw" retail sales estimate of -0.5%, we get an actual collapse in U.S. retail sales of roughly -2% for the month of March. Convert that to an annualized rate (i.e. multiply it by 12) and what the U.S. government really reported last month was retail sales plummeting lower at an annualized rate of approximately 25%. Let me repeat this. In the U.S.'s consumer economy, retail sales plummeted lower at a rate of 25% in the month of March. Doesn't sound like much of an "economic recovery" to me. But this brings us to the April figure for retail sales just released this morning. Given that (almost) all U.S. economists continue to claim the U.S. economy is "growing"; clearly these economists must have been "expecting" retail sales to bounce-back in April with a strong number. Right? Wrong. U.S. economists were "expecting" an even more-severe collapse in retail sales this month. This brings us to the "beating expectations" game played by the media. While this sham has been previously explained, Bloomberg was kind enough to explicitly do so today itself: "...April's retail sales report is another example of a generally weak report that is better than expected, so it's perceived to be a positive," Jim Baird...at Plante Moran Financial Advisors, said in an email to clients."