Wednesday, 18 February 2009

More evidence

This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about - Stephanie Flanders writing on the BBC's web site. Ms Flanders outlines the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" side of the inflation/deflation issues.

Now I may be taking a simplistic attitude about these things, but 3% CPI is still inflation - prices are still rising, if more slowly than before. Yes, the government "hasn't ruled out the possibility of negative CPI..." - but that's an old journalistic trick of answering a question (and ideally a fairly stupid question) of a politician or civil servant who knows that nothing can be ruled out. You can imagine the scenario:

Journalist - "Can you rule out negative CPI?"
Civil Servant - "I don't think our models are showing CPI dropping to that level"
Journalist - "But can you rule it out?"
Civil Servant - "Well... no"
Journalist - "Ah ha!"

Now I don't pretend that the conversation above actually happened - but I can imagine that it's fairly close.

It's not that long ago that the CPI target was 2% and that we would all have been unhappy with 3%. Now we are supposed to be afraid that it might drop further - or that it might rise. I'm not convinced that this is responsible reporting.

No comments:

Post a Comment