Well, the only thing I can verify is that the Baltic Dry Index is down to a record low of 380 or somewhere around there.
Usually it's in the thousands.
This last couple weeks it's really been crashing. Maybe this is why?
The government can't manipulate that number, either. It's a direct calculation of raw materials being shipped around the world. If no shipping is happening, it means factories aren't ordering raw materials. And why not? It can only be because people aren't buying stuff.
Car lots are being stacked up with new cars to the moon. Eventually the car makers are going to run out of space and stop making them -- that means closing lots of factories and tons more layoffs. They're already giving car loans to anyone with a pulse (not a job, just a pulse!) A huge number of car loans are for 7 years and more. It used to be that car loans were 3 or 4 years. Now they're pushing 8 years!
As a not-so-rich person who survives partly because he doesn't have a car payment, I'm here to tell you that's bad news. So even if they get lucky and get a reliable car they can keep for 8 years, they will never be without a payment (no chance to catch up or do "something else" with that Car Payment money, even for a couple of years!) 8 year car loans is a recipe for being "under water", or owing more than your car is worth, real fast.
* The unemployment rate can be manipulated, and it is. They just don't count any unemployed people. Right now close to 100 million Americans are "not in the workforce". That number hasn't been seen since the 1970's.
* The stock market can be manipulated. The Fed (which creates money out of thin air) can just buy a bunch of shares and BOOM the prices go up again.
Unfortunately, most Americans only look at those two things in order to determine "how is the economy doing".