Great moments in understated economic reporting:
The Wall Street Journal's Donna Kardos, reporting the news that the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index recorded a record 17.7 percent drop for U.S. home prices in 10 major metropolitan areas in August -- the "11th-straight monthly report of a record decline" -- made the following observation:
David M. Blitzer, chairman of Standard & Poor's index committee, noted there were "very few bright spots in the data." Among them is that the acceleration in decline from July to August was "only moderate."
Happy day! When you put together the glorious news that the acceleration in decline in home prices from July to August was only moderate with the upticks in existing and new home sales reported for August this week, you might almost believe we were approaching the bottom of the housing bust.
Except: The really disastrous stage in the ongoing financial crisis did not begin until mid-September. So let's wait a couple more months before we start to see silver linings in moderate accelerations.