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Dig a bit deeper on economics

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There’s a tendency for experts seeking to get their name into the papers to sound all-knowing. (Some business commentators go for the same effect.)

For example, I got three bits of economic commentary today that use the dread phrase: “It comes as no surprise….”

In which case, why are you telling me about it?

You can see why these words get used. The writer is trying to give official economic statistics some context. As such, whether the figures (employment today, inflation tomorrow) are in line with what the experts expected is not unhelpful.

But as a quote it’s unusable. It would be better if the commentary told me how the figures stack up against forecasts, but had a quote about the bit that was unexpected.

The economic commentary that flies into inboxes tends to be too alike.

There’s a definite gap in the market for rapid responses to economic statistics that delves into the numbers.

So don’t just tell us that pay went up 3.4%. Tell us why and where. Tell us for whom pay is falling.

If you dig a bit deeper into the ONS website than we have time for, you might do well.


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