UK's ONS has overstated the volume of retail sales growth by 56 per cent.

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Ivanovich, May 18, 2009.

  1. I'm not one to usually cut-and-paste, but this had me laughing. I wonder how long, if ever, it will be until the BLS here in the US admits it's folly?

    ONS gets sums wrong on retail sales

    By Chris Giles, Economics Editor

    Published: May 15 2009 21:43 | Last updated: May 15 2009 21:43

    One of Britain’s most closely watched economic indicators has heavily overstated the quantity of high street sales over the past two years, the Office for National Statistics admitted on Friday.

    Britain’s supplier of official statistics conceded that since the financial crisis began in August 2007, it has overstated the volume of retail sales growth by 56 per cent.

    Many economists have been worried for some time that the published retail sales figures were too strong and have always received a furious response from the ONS.

    Karen Dunnell, the national statistician, wrote to newspapers last October, insisting that “ONS retail statistics are the best available and are not inaccurate”.

    She stuck to the same theme in another article, saying economists who had expressed surprise at the strength of ONS retail figures were upset because “City analysts also have a vested interest in not being proved wrong”.

    Yet while the ONS head was defending the accuracy of the retail figures, industry experts knew the outdated nature of price measurement in the retail sales index was much more than a triviality.

    The ONS previously said that between August 2007 and March 2009 retail sales volume grew 3.6 per cent. The changes announced on Friday mean it will now say the real rise in sales volumes was only 2.3 per cent.

    Such a large difference in the one indicator that has persistently given a more positive account of Britain’s economy will cause red faces at the ONS, especially as it had insisted on the superiority of its retail data to unofficial estimates.

    So confident has the ONS been that it warns users of the CBI or the British Retail Consortium sales data every month that these figures might not be “fit for purpose”.

    The BRC on Friday welcomed the changes, saying they meant the official data would now be more in line with its figures.

    The ONS’s old methodology failed to take sufficient account of goods that had risen strongly in price and so under-estimated the true rate of inflation in calculating the headline retail sales volume figures.

    The ONS said on Friday it was changing the way it compiled its retail sales data to make sure it “more accurately captures recent trends in retail sales, including where consumers switch purchases to goods that have fallen in price’’.

    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009
  2. Cut and paste is beautiful. What are you talking about?

    It allows you to spread the truth of scandal and criminality with efficiency like you just did regarding this bullshit.

    If more people read Bloomberg, The Financial Times and The Economist, they'd realize how the American Middle Class, Upper-Middle Class and especially Upper Class is getting cut and pasted by their elected officials all the time, and that this cut and pasting is going to grow more vicious in the future.

    Once again my question : when will British Pound be terminated ?:confused: :mad: