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."
As recently as 2007 the U.S. oil industry was lamenting the lack of refining capacity within the U.S. to meet future domestic demand for petroleum products. Yet, by 2012, and with no new refineries brought on line, U.S. demand for petroleum products had collapsed to the point where the U.S. is now a "net-energy exporter." To many, however, nothing illustrates a concept better than a picture. Here is further proof of the U.S. Greater Depression, which is now familiar to regular readers. This chart, produced by the Federal Reserve itself, shows the U.S. economy not only relentlessly losing jobs for the past 15 years, but those job losses have accelerated since the beginning of the supposed recovery.
Consumer economies can't grow while retail sales are plummeting. Equally, energy-intensive economies can't grow while energy consumption plummets. No economy of any kind can grow while shedding jobs at an accelerating rate. We now have all the pieces of the puzzle in this economic myth of a U.S. recovery. Laughably fictional inflation statistics, which in turn are then used to warp the reporting of other statistics like GDP, retail sales and U.S. home prices. What happens to the U.S. "housing recovery" if you subtract actual inflation numbers from the "gains" in house prices? That's right: still in recession. Meanwhile, to maintain the myth of recovery we have the media propaganda machine playing the "Beat Expectations" game month after month, to transform all of the bad news into good news. At the same time, any and all contradictions of this "recovery" -- contradictions in the numbers and by the experts themselves -- are totally ignored by the myopic media. Bad news is not good news, irrespective of whether or not it "beats expectations." However, with the media now implicitly acknowledging the fraudulent nature of those expectations, this analytical point is even more relevant. Ignore mere expectations and focus on the actual news, if and when you can find it. Follow @bullionbulls This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.