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AP’s Rugaber Ignores Mark Zandi’s Prediction of Near-Zero Fourth-Quarter Growth on ADP Conference Call

Posted on 04 February 2016

On Wednesday, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press was tasked with covering ADP's morning report on January private-sector payrolls. At 8:15 a.m., the payroll and benefits giant estimated that the economy added 205,000 seasonally adjusted private-sector jobs last month.

Rugaber also attended the 8:30 a.m. conference call which followed the report's release. It's clear that he was on it because his coverage, time-stamped at 9:18 a.m., contains quotes from economist Mark Zandi dealing with a key topic the sunnyside-up Moody's economist addresssed in that call. So why did the AP economics writer fail to report Zandi's acknowledgment that fourth-quarter economic growth, which the government estimated was an annualized 0.7 percent on Friday, could close in on zero in its February or March revision?