Statistical challenges due to the economic and financial crisis

Nils Bernstein, Governor of the National Bank of Denmark summarises the issues in this neat speech. The speech focuses on Denmar and EU but can be applied to most countries:

Statistics are the basis for all empirical economic analysis and for our understanding of past events. Moreover, statistics are key to the formation of our expectations of what will happen in future. Both areas have given us considerable challenges in recent years.

The global economy is just recovering from the most serious recession since the war. It started out as a financial crisis that escalated into an economic crisis. The period has seen strong fluctuations in key economic fundamentals such as asset prices, interest-rate spreads, gross national product and world trade, to mention but a few. I’m not saying that more statistics could essentially have turned the tide of events. More likely, we failed to fully understand the statistics that were on the table. A case in point is the interplay between the financial and real sides of the economy.

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