Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Sugar-coating figures won't help anybody

By David Elliott

Be positive! That is the mantra which is drilled into us in the business media from business leaders up and down the country.

Their very clear-cut argument is that in order to get the economy back up and running we need to boost confidence amongst businesses.

By peddling negative news stories or reflecting on the state of the economy we're not helping restore that confidence and are therefore impeding recovery. That may be the case in the view of some but would we not be better facing up to the true state of the landscape our businesses are operating in rather than accepting a sugar-coated view which could easily land us even deeper in the economic mire than we already are? Would we have been better to dress up the figures in a more positive light rather than telling it like it is?

No, and that's why we'll continue trying to offer an accurate reflection of business.

The jobs figures were released yesterday and make grim reading, something few people could deny.

There is of course some comfort to be taken from the fact the economic inactivity number has stayed flat over the last month but we're still the worst region in the UK when it comes to people of working age not actually looking for work.

If you really were looking for a positive line you could say that employment figures are a lagging indicator of economic health and maybe, just maybe, the economy has since recovered.

You could say that but then more up-to-date surveys don't back that up.


From Belfast Telegraph