Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Shopkeepers in London suffered their worst January for five years...?

No, it was almost certainly their best January ever - sales rose 3.5% from 2009. Furthermore:

London fared better than the rest of the UK where sales fell 0.7 per cent in January in the worst performance for 15 years.

See below...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Worst or best?

So is the headline on this BBC piece.

Have a guess if that's true or not? That's right, it's not. In fact shop sales were the best since records began.

The article itself is more accurate, it's the 'worst growth' for 15 years. But let's put this into perspective, the rate of growth was 1.2% (like-for-like was a fall of 0.9%, but that's irrelevant in a macro sense). I don't have the figures to hand, but if GDP in January (which would have to be estimated) was 1.2% higher than in January 2009 it would be a pretty good result. And in a recession partly caused by overstretched household budgets!!