- destroying the value of currency by more than 25% in just about a year,
- massively understating the inflation and yet coming up with high inflation figures,
- denying any inflation even when the manipulated data fail to show anything but high inflation,
- pretending that deflation is what they are worried about.
(Financial Times) One of Britain’s most closely watched economic indicators has heavily overstated the quantity of high street sales over the past two years, the Office for National Statistics admitted on Friday.
Britain’s supplier of official statistics conceded that since the financial crisis began in August 2007, it has overstated the volume of retail sales growth by 56 per cent.
Many economists have been worried for some time that the published retail sales figures were too strong and have always received a furious response from the ONS.
Karen Dunnell, the national statistician, wrote to newspapers last October, insisting that “ONS retail statistics are the best available and are not inaccurate”.
She stuck to the same theme in another article, saying economists who had expressed surprise at the strength of ONS retail figures were upset because “City analysts also have a vested interest in not being proved wrong”.
Such a large difference in the one indicator that has persistently given a more positive account of Britain’s economy will cause red faces at the ONS, especially as it had insisted on the superiority of its retail data to unofficial estimates.