Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fun with figures

Who in the world are these people trying to kid?
There's a very good piece in the last Harper's on how inflation and unemployment numbers in the States are cooked. I'm sure StatsCan uses the same methodology.

6 comments:

MJMartin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MJMartin said...

If we could form a group that price checks 700,000 products at retailers 50,000 more than the government) by phone or the internet we could control the inflation statistics!

Pretty tenuous process for such an economically influential set of statistics.

I wonder if they use "secret shoppers"?

bigcitylib said...

You're joking, right? Dissing Stats Can, universally considered the best government stats gathering agency on the planet?

Part of the U.S problem is they report the previous month, and then revise all their stuff--sometimes drastically--two or three times. Our guys report two monthes back. Measure twice, cut once.

Ottawa Watch said...

Uh-huh. They say gas prices have risen by a measly 11 per cent in the past year. Even if that stat is from three months back, it's way low and it's now so out of date that it's useless.
Anyone who says inflation is less than 6 or 7 per cent is lying.

MJMartin said...

I was referencing the U.S. version. I know nothing of the Canadian process.

I will say that "facts are stubborn things". No matter what the gov't agencies want to report through the pop media, they cannot alter the evidence that is picking my pocket.

Seven percent??? Gas went up 7% in last month(probably more), and over 25% since this time last year in New York, and the speed of inflation is increasing. Rice is double that of last year. Flour is at least 50% more expensive. I can see economics returning to a more regional basis in the next decade if this continues. Large urban centers will really feel the impact of shortages.

Anonymous said...

A review of any grocery bills from six or seven years ago is pretty instructive.
Found one from 2001 and it showed bread has doubled in price. Dairy products are at least 50% higher over the six year period.
I was out last night and noticed how deserted the local malls and plazas were. Subtract the employees' cars and I doubt if they were making enough to pay the electricity, let alone the rent and wages.