Bring us the good news
Economic statistics are always backward looking. They tell you what has happened, not what is happening.
Sometimes that data is reasonably current, a fair indicator of what is coming down the track. And sometimes it is way off
Today the ONS released figures for October on employment, pay and job vacancies. The figures weren’t bad – a bit worse than September, but a bit better than expected.
The problem arose with much of the commentary that dropped into inboxes soon after the figures landed. It was still trying to do what it always does – pick holes in the numbers, find the negatives that the report may have played down.
Usually, that’s what we want.
But since the Boris landslide the mood is one of optimism, unless you work at The Guardian, I guess.
Business pages don’t really want lots of stories saying everything is terrible. We want to hear the ways in which things might get better.
This isn’t to suggest that experts suspend their usual scepticism. Just that they apply that scepticism to the suggestion that we’re all doomed.
We aren’t. Just for now.
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