Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Measured subjectivity

The Wales agent of the Bank of England attended today's Retail Partnership Board meeting to give us a run-down on the latest statistics on the economy.

There was nothing I hadn't already heard on the BBC 'Today' programme, on my way towards full consciousness in the mornings over the past few months, except for one thing. The question of whether or not the economy is in recession.

It was worse twenty years ago, everyone agreed. Things are difficult now but it isn't all bad, as the weak pound is good for export revenue. How do the bean counters measure recession?

Apparently, this is a 'look and feel thing'. So someone in the Bank keeps a watching brief on the newspapers, and logs the number of times the word 'recession' gets used. Confidence to trade and take economic risks is ultimately a subjective thing - how you feel about the figures, on which you have a judgement to make.

Is this science? What happens if you don't trust the media?

How often the Church is written off by the media. Decline is a fact, yet we still keep going, still enjoy a degree of goodwill, even from those who no longer invest their time and money in upholding the faith.

The story told about us may not be our story at all.

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