Inflation was what now? by mattsteinglass
June 18, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Economics, Vietnam

A little whining about NY Times business style, from Keith Bradsher’s otherwise good piece today on companies shifting investment from China to Vietnam:

Even as companies seek other places to make their goods, they are stalked by overheated economies: in Vietnam, for example, inflation was 25.2 percent last month.

Inflation was 25.2 percent in the year through May. “Inflation was 25.2 percent last month” is completely unclear. Did prices rise by 25 percent in one month? No, unless you’re in Zimbabwe; in Vietnam they rose 3.9 percent in May. Did prices rise at a rate which, extrapolated to an annual rate, would have been 25 percent? No, 3.9 percent extrapolated to an annual rate is a lot higher than 25.2 percent. It may be slightly tedious to use the proper combination words which indicates the nature of the stat you’re employing, but it lets your readers know what it is you are actually saying.


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