Monday 6 June 2011

Get Real With Statistics

You may have noticed press reports that retail sales were up in April. The Herald-Sun called it “Retail’s Ray of Light”. A financial market analyst said “Retail Sales Bounce Back Strongly”, and Business Spectator reported that April retail sales “jumped”. The Australian said “Retail Splurge In April Signals Strong Australian Economy”. Apparently the increase was 1.1% and reflected stronger performances in clothing and footwear. So, all you fashion traders at the Queen Victoria Market must be swimming in extra cash.
Get real!!! Since when did a 1% increase count for anything. So the last time your sales went up by 1% did you notice? If your car gives 1% better fuel consumption on a trip, do you notice? If your local fish & chip shop gives you 1% more chips, do you notice? Even in Australian Rules Football you need a lot of those 1%’s to make a difference to a team’s performance. The next time one of my friends says “I see from the newspapers that you had a good month” I’m going to ram the newspaper down their throat – one percent at a time.
Signed – Angry Trader.