Saturday, 14 January 2012

Careful with those figures

It is at this time of year that we get lots of statistics for 2011. Some of these are eagerly awaited ... so we can see how serious the current financial position is.

Amongst the first to arrive are ... retail sales over the holiday period. In the UK these are being hailed as 'good' ... up on the same period last year, for example.

However ..
(1) The same period last year saw the UK with heavy snow ... the shops were empty because people couldn't or wouldn't get there.
(2) Sales were up. But what about margins and profits. If I lose money on each sale, rising sales aren't going to help.

So be careful how you interpret what you read. Someone might want to give you a good message .. .and might present the figures to give that message. Your job is to look carefully and decide on the real 'truth' (if you have enough information).

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