This book shows how economic figures can be manipulated to demonstrate almost anything. More important, it explains how to read them, cut through any media hype and make up your mind about what they show, requiring no prior knowledge of economics or statistics. It deals with all the most important economic indicators and answers questions such as the following.
What are they? What are gdp, the invisibles balance, the terms of trade, the labour force?
What do they cover? What is included in retail sales data, what is not in gdp, who is in the labour force?
What is their signiﬁcance? What do gdp, capacity utilisation or the terms of trade tell us?
Where and when are they are published? Should you look for weekly ﬁgures from the central bank, monthly information from a private organisation, quarterly numbers from the Department of Commerce, and so on?
How reliable are they? Reasonably reliable in the case of spending by a particular government department, reasonably unreliable in the case of the size of the labour force. Who knows how many people not registered as unemployed would come forward if jobs were suddenly available?
Will they be revised or are the ﬁrst-reported ﬁgures set in stone? For example, gdp data are revised endlessly, consumerprice data rarely.
How should they be interpreted? The most important question.
If you want to be a better trader, investor or speculator, YOU NEED THIS BOOK.
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