NYT Needs Better Sources

Claims economy is improving by relying on Obama donor's forecasts

Four days after the New York Times ran the headline, "In Latest Data on Economy, Experts See Signs of Pickup," the International Monetary Fund has trimmed its 2012 and 2013 U.S. growth estimates.

The Times reported on Thursday:

This week, Macroeconomic Advisers, an economic consultancy often cited by policy makers, estimated the annual rate of growth in the second quarter at just 1.2 percent — well below the pace needed to reduce the unemployment rate. But the firm also projected growth to accelerate to around 2.4 percent in the third quarter.

Annie Lowrey, the author, cited data from Macroeconomic Advisers (MA), a firm whose founders and top executives donated nearly $25,000 to Barack Obama’s campaign.

Lowrey mentions MA’s second-quarter estimate of 1.2 percent growth, but fails to note that MA was one of several firms to have slashed their second-quarter growth estimates on July 11, the day before Lowrey’s piece was published.

MA’s original second-quarter growth estimate was 1.4 percent, which it downgraded to 1.2 percent last Wednesday.

Today, the IMF reduced its U.S. growth estimates by a tenth of a percent for both of the next two years, predicting American economic growth of 2 percent for 2012 and 2.3 percent for 2013.

The IMF also reduced its 2013 global growth estimate to 3.9 percent, down from an earlier 4.1 percent estimate.

Lowrey also wrote today’s Times piece announcing the IMF’s downgrades.

JPMorgan also slashed its third quarter growth estimate to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent Monday.