Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Darling's numbers - part 1.

No these are not like Fibonacci although the fib bit might be appropriate.
In essence, Darling's claim is that UK GDP will rise 1% this year.
Several commentators ( inumerate all) have said " Hey, if you add the .3% in Quarter 1, 0% in Q2, and -.5% in Q3 that means to get 1% for the year, UK Plc has to grow 1.2% in Q4 to catch up.
As Chris Dillow has elegantly described, this is rubbish. In fact, if you add the totals for each of the quarters last year together, and those for this year plus Q4 showing an expected -.7% you will get a figuire for 2008 that is about 1% higher than that for 2007.
This mathematical misunderstanding reminded me of the old school boy conundrum.
Three men eat in a restaurant. They get a bill for £30, and split it - £10 each.
The waiter checks the bill and finds it should only be £25. So being a venal sort of chap, he gives them each £1 back, and pockets the remaining £2.
But here's the rub.
3 x£9 ( £10 -£1 repaid) = £27 plus the £2 pocketed by our waiter friend only adds to £29 - so where's the other £1?
You can think about it for a day or two.
PS
Eldest Ms Lear sent me this crossword clue: "Carve diamond into shape for next Prime Minister" (5, 7)
Anyone who doesn't get it is a LibDem.

4 comments:

Brian Boru said...

There is no missing pound.

The three men paid £9 each, giving a total of £27

This covers the £25 meal bill and the £2 'tip' for the waiter

kinglear said...

Ah BB, you have it. My point is the comparison is between two different things. The bill of £30 is minus £3 and minus £2 = £25,
NOT minus £3 and PLUS £2= £29. The same applies to Darling's figures.

Winchester whisperer said...

If Labour wins the next election, the whole of the Shadow Cabinet should be shot.

kinglear said...

ww - if Labour wins the next election, they will be shot by the next government.