There is no conflict here

Living standards were 21pc higher in the UK compared with the average in the EU, the statistics office Eurostat said. In Luxembourg standards were 50pc higher. Germany took third place, followed by the Netherlands and Austria.

Individual consumption was used as the measure, often cited because it includes all goods and services that a household consumes, regardless of whether they pay for them.

That way Britain\’s rating is boosted by public services such as health and education, which are largely government funded.

Bulgaria was judged to have the lowest standard of living, 58pc below that of the EU average.

The data was at odds with recent comments by Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, who warned that British households are facing the biggest squeeze in living standards since the 1920s.

You really would hope that an \”economics correspondent\” would get this.

The Eurostat measure is of the absolute level. The BoE one is of changes in that level.

It most certainly can be true that living standards are high but not rising very much, high but falling. There is no \”at odds\” here at all.

Come along now, it\’s like the difference between speed and acceleration, level and changes in the level. Nothing tough about it at all.

8 comments on “There is no conflict here

  1. You’d also hope that an economics correspondent would know that “data” is plural, so it should be “data were”.
    Subs should certainly know this.

  2. Pop ‘define an English person’ into google and I believe that’s what this ‘Economics correspondent’ is purporting to be….
    D

  3. Having lived in Vienna, I wouldn’t trust any data that suggested living standards in the UK were higher than Austria.

  4. Suggested rewrite …
    ‘We spend money as if we are the 2nd most productive EU economy. We are actually around 6th or 7th. We are therefore suffering a drop in living standards as we try to adjust what we spend down towards what we earn’.

  5. “The Eurostat measure is of the absolute level. The BoE one is of changes in that level.”

    Argh.

    Yet another example of people failing to distinguish between a variable and the rate of change of that variable.

    Please can we go back to teaching at least a little bit of maths in schools? Please?

  6. Well I often hear and read a fall in inflation described as a fall in the cost of living. Heard it yesterday on the BBC News channel.

  7. Yet another example of people failing to distinguish between a variable and the rate of change of that variable.

    The Mrs and daughter both do that with radiator thermostats when the heating has been off. It would be enough to make me cry in to a large glass of “Engineers’ Special Single Malt” if I didn’t refuse to add any water other than the distillers’ spring (when I can get hold of it.)

  8. I don’t understand ONS’s explanation (the Telegraph story is basically a cut ‘n’ paste). Govt services are included in GDP, and so GDP per head.

    I’d have thought the difference was to do with investment being lower and consumption higher.

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