Monday 18 December 2017

Brendan Keenan: Deflation can be as great a danger as our surging budget deficit

Declining GNP figure suggests a state of collapse in economy

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

YOU can't beat a fresh eye. The prominent British economics journalist I met last week was fascinated, not by the budget deficit we obsess about, but the deflation, which gets much less attention.

So I looked again at the published figures with a new eye, and, right enough, they are something to behold. The convention in economic statistics is to deduct price changes from the output of goods and services, to get the 'real' change in that output -- usually measured by GDP (gross domestic product).

Almost all the time, the real change in GDP is smaller than the actual figure, because prices go up.

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