BusinessCompany NewsLies, damn lies and statistics …

Lies, damn lies and statistics ...

If you've been struggling to work out just how the war on Iraq is going to affect the economy, you're in good company. The statistics claiming to offer definite conclusion are scant and tenuous.

Before the beginning of hostilities there was much speculation that the war could have disastrous effects. The spectre of a major reduction in holidays would blight the travel industry, huge rises in oil price would effect all economies. However great the claims that have been made by surveys that they demonstrate the negative ‘Iraq effect’, it might not be so bad after all. A poll of economists from Reuters put the chances of an interest rate cut at 55% as consumer credit grew by £1.9bn in March.

Good, the world’s alright. But what about manufacturing being at an all time low? Or that selling IT products is next to impossible, or that the City anticipates another huge wave of redundancies or that average household indebtedness is at unthinkable levels? Trust a bunch of statistics?

Take care. You’re about as likely to find agreement between numbers as you are between George Bush and Kim Jong-il of North Korea. Instead ask your boss how the company is doing.

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