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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
CNS' Trump Flip on Reporting GDP Numbers

Employment numbers are not the only thing goes into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode on. Check out this July 27 article by Susan Jones on a quarterly GDP increase:

President Trump told steelworkers in Illinois Thursday he was expecting a "terrific" Gross Domestic Product number for the second quarter, and he wasn't disappointed:

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the advance estimate released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That's a considerable improvement from the (revised) GDP growth of 2.2 percent in the first quarter and the best showing since 2014.

"GREAT GDP numbers just released," Trump tweeted on Friday morning. "Will be having a news conference soon!"

At the impromptu news conference on Friday morning, Trump hailed the "amazing" 4.1 percent rate.

"We're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I'll say it strongly -- as the trade deals come in one by one, we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers.

Of course, as with those employment numbers, CNS' reporting on GDP had a much different tone during the Obama years. Indeed, we could find no contemporaneous CNS article mentioning the best quarterly GDP numbers during the Obama presidency -- 5.1% in the second quarter of 2014 and 4.9% in the third quarter of 2014 -- even though both of those numbers topped the figure Jones gushed about.

Instead, CNS reported almost exclusively on yearly GDP numbers in reference to Obama. For instance, an April 2017 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey pointed out that "In the eight years of 2009 through 2016, when President Barack Obama was in office, real GDP never grew by as much as 2.7 percent"; the month before, Jeffrey declared that "President Barack Obama remains the first president since the Great Depression not to see a single year with at least 3 percent growth in real GDP."

An April 2016 article by Jeffrey did focus on a quarterly GDP number under Obama -- but did even more cherry-picking by finding the one that made Obama look bad, a first quarter number that meant "the United States has started 2016 with a record tenth-straight first quarter in which real GDP grew at an annual rate of less than 3 percent."

This is just another example of how much of a pro-Trump toady CNS has chosen to become.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT

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