1987: Less Than Zero – Kanievska
Interest rates remain depressed and look set to do so for some time to come. The Bank of England today announced that they were holding rates at the current level of 0.50%. Inflation (currently 3.0%) seems to be returning to within the range that the Bank have set as the target and we are all aware that the economy looks somewhat fragile with the combined output of all business being pretty much stagnant. A fairly unhelpful word given that in practice, businesses are far from stagnant. Most are working very hard to win orders, customers and contracts, requiring new business to replace any that is being lost. So to term this “stagnant” would seem exceedingly unfair. However as a combined average figure, the economy is currently growing at something around 0%. The first quarter of the year had a negative rate of growth -0.3%, which was from a revised  figure of -0.2%, depending upon your political leaning, you might term this as a reduction by 0.1% or alternatively a 33% decline. Hence care needs to be taken when reading any such figures, whatever their source. After all, this is still only an estimate. It would appear that most of the negative growth (?) came from the manufacturing sector (-0.4%) whereas the service sector grew at +0.1%. As with all statistics, whilst accurate, how they are interpreted is open to debate. To focus on the average net result, can miss vital detail – such as the often used example, head in the oven, feet in the fridge – on average “just right”. By the way, as humans we aren’t very good at processing “average”… ask any room of people about their driving skills. Most will assert that they possess above average driving skill, which of course, cannot be possible. By the way, very few indeed would admit to having below average skill.
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