The Numbers Racket

Devoted to illuminating the perilous state of economic data
How GDP Numbers Artificially Inflate Comparative Growth of Developed Countries
We show how the assumption that GDP calculation is done in line with economic theory is incorrect – and that the changes made to GDP measurement over the past two decades...
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How to Decimate a Country in Less Than 20 Years
In 1960, Italy’s GDP was 15% smaller than France’s, and 27% lower than the average of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France’s combined. However, this country enjoyed steady growth until the start of the 1990s as Italian household income caught up with the period’s norm for the other eurozone nations, so much so that around 1995 France and Italy’s GDPs converged and there came to be only a 6% difference between the average of the countries mentioned...
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The European Union Must Defend Andreas Georgiou
Nicolas Veron argues that the relentless prosecutions against Georgiou are more than a matter of shameful harassment by Greece. Georgiou’s case also raises disturbing questions about the integrity of European statistical processes...
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Modi-fication of Indian Data As Jobs Problem Emerges
Worrying signs have emerged over the last few months, that the rapid growth of recent years may be slowing down, and that India may have a jobs crisis in the making...
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Most Read - Last 3 Years

Lords of Poverty
Neither Oxfam or the USA appears keen to see Rwanda start up a garment business. Here's why...
Measuring Hyperinflation:
Venezuela's Episode
Venezuela now exhibits the 57th historic episode of hyperinflation as measured in the Hanke–Krus World Hyperinflation Table. Entry to the hyperinflation dataset depends on three qualifying criteria...
GDP Revisions Rewrite Economic History
Revisions of national accounts affect economic analysis, calling into question theoretical findings based on earlier data. Revisions to German national accounts have resulted in a markedly higher GDP in absolute terms and a lower volatility in ...
Andrew Methven considers the subtle nuances of language and how behaviour are an important part of dealing with China, but often totally missed. Receiving or giving a compliment is one example of a cultural minefield for the uninitiated (or even quite experienced) foreigner there...
Time to Overhaul Global Trade Estimates
The rise of global production networks since the 1980s changed the way we understand international trade and has profound repercussions on development policies and the conduct of global governance. New comparative advantages allow large developing countries to leap...
How Accurate Are China's National Balance Sheets?
The accuracy of data on China’s national balance sheets has attracted much less attention than that of the Gross Domestic Product reports. China’s Bureau of National Statistics has not released official national balance sheets, but two research teams...
Analysis of revisions in Indian GDP Data
This paper studies constant price growth estimates of India's annual GDP data in order to understand the revision policy adopted by the Central Statistics Office. The used of high-frequency indicators...
Errors in Demographic and Other Quantitative Data
Statistical data consumed, anylised and produced contain errors from more sources than is often recognised and the commercialisation of survey and other statistical research and 'inventions' such as 'big data' has led to naive...

About World Economics

Economic data underpin almost all key investment decisions.

Yet the numbers on which so much weight is placed are badly flawed to an extent few realise.

Discover how World Economics provides investors, economists and governments with guides to what data can be trusted and what cannot.


Trade Data
The Alarming Problems Caused By Highly Misleading Global Trade Data
The author's first job in economic research was the nightmarish task of finding a way of measuring corruption on behalf of a country client in the Middle East.
The author was told that he should start by researching something simple - like exports of German cars to the country under investigation, as listed in German export documents. And compare the results with imports of German cars as documented by the Middle Eastern country. The results were spectacular. Over 10 times more cars were exported from Germany according to German data, than were supposedly imported according to Middle Eastern data, over the same period. Something wrong somewhere!  Read more...
In Depth: China
The Latest Insights, Data and Indicators Charting the Course of the Chinese Economy
Poverty, Trade Policy And Migration
The Promise of a Better World
Poverty in Africa is passed inevitably down through the generations, even more assuredly than is private wealth. Most Africans are hopelessly poor, conditioned by location, time, politics, geography and birth. Yet global media distribution allows them to know that a fulsome standard of living is technically available less than a few hours away by plane.  Read more...
Recession Watch
Global Recession Comes Nearer
August Job Growth Turns Negative in China, the USA and India Collectively
Sales Managers, who necessarily scent recession earlier than other executives, are pulling back sharply on recruitment in the worlds three biggest economies.  Read more...
Lords of Poverty
Neither Oxfam or the USA appears keen to see Rwanda start up a garment business.
What do you think happens to the used clothes we give to clothes banks? Some go to charities for the poor, some to emergency aid, but most go to maintain a multi-million dollar international business, with companies exporting mostly American and European second-hand clothes to Africa at market rates, creating big turnovers and profits for all the various...  Read more...

Data Quality Ratings

Asia Data Ratings
GDP data for 27 Asian countries reviewed, rated and ranked.
Americas Data Ratings
GDP data for 26 countries in the Americas reviewed, rated and ranked.
Europe Data Ratings
GDP data for 40 European countries reviewed, rated and ranked.
Africa Data Ratings
GDP data for 48 countries in Africa reviewed, rated and ranked.
Middle East Data Ratings
GDP data for 13 Middle East countries in reviewed, rated and ranked.
Global Data Ratings
GDP data for 154 countries reviewed, rated and ranked.

Analysis & Insights

France and the Euro The Reason for Riots
Data shows the overvaluation of the Euro is hurting France while favouring Germany...
Can Big Data Improve Measurement?
The amount of data generated and stored in the digital age is accelerating rapidly, but this...
Trade Data:
Use with Care
The international trade statistics used by many commentators are inaccurate...
The Flaws in Population Data
Accurate world population data is immensely important in assessing the impact of...
Analysis of Revisions in Indian GDP
Understanding the revision policy adopted by the Central Statistics Office...