Britain’s economy contracted by 2.2% in the first three months of 2020 – its sharpest decline in more than 40 years – as the immediate impact from the Covid-19 pandemic provided an even more severe hit to output than first thought.

That’s for the year up to March 31. Piffle, entirely an irrelevance. It’s what has happened since then that matters.

But it’s also true that this is how long it takes to produce decent GDP figures. Which does rather show how lousy is the information base we’ve got to try and plan the economy, doesn’t it?

8 thoughts on “Piffle”

  1. Esp when TPTB=Jellyballs Johnson– wants it to take as long as possible.

    And you know as well as the rest of us –you can’t plan economies. Unless ruin IS your plan.

  2. The change from the previous estimate of -2.0% to -2.2% isn’t nearly as significant for planning purposes as the change from + to -.

  3. “as the immediate impact from the Covid-19 pandemic” – NO, NO and NO. How about “as the immediate impact from the Lockdown” – TFTFY.

  4. Next time someone claiming that planning could work, I’ll ask them what the impact on iron ore mining will be from doubling the production capacity of plastic toilet brushes.

    If they reply “but plastic toilet brushes aren’t made of metal, duh” it’ll be quite clear they have no idea how things work back up the manufacture/supply chain…

  5. “…because a wise government…”
    That’s the flaw in the theory, right there.
    Was there ever a ‘wise’ government? Has anyone, ever, solved the problems of self-interest and power crazed bossy boots?

  6. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Has anyone, ever, solved the problems of self-interest and power crazed bossy boots?”

    I’m in the middle of a lecture series on The Federalist Papers on The Great Course Plus and is fair to say the Founding Fathers were well aware of the problem and put a lot of thought in to it. Alas, their failure is clear for all to see.

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