the party continues: happy days

Retail sales increase

The volume of retail sales was up 6.8% in September when compared to the same month in 2006, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

Sales also showed a 1.3% rise against August’s figures. However, if motor trades are excluded the increases drop to 6.6% on the year and 0.9% on the month.

The actual value of sales went up 7.8% on the previous September and 1.2% on August of this year. Excluding motors, the rises are 7.3% and 1.0% respectively

I find that hard to believe to be honest. There were sales on Grafton Street during September and October, presumably because stock wasn’t shifting. Im reliably informed by members of the fairer sex that many of the shops have been remarkably quiet as well. I’ve also been told by acquaintances who are involved in running coffee shops that their turnover is well down since around August and employees are having their hours cut. Of course I could just be moving in the wrong circles.

I don’t believe any CSO figures anymore. I know a guy who runs a number of businesses in Cork and he was telling me how he gets in these forms with obscure questions* from the CSO which he has to fill out, obviously as a small business owner he’s a busy man so has better things to be doing that spending half his time filling out these forms correctly so he just does them with basically guesses. I doubt this is an isolated occurance.

*What was the total weight of your imports last year?

Reading the article it says that sales of leather goods and such have decreased while sales of books have increased. Perhaps this marks the beginning of the intellectualisation of Irish society? Maybe all the lads who’ve been laid off from the building sites have found themselves with a bit of time on their hands and rather than waste it, they have decided to indulge in a bit of reading.

Perhaps they’re reading The Generation Game by DMcW?

From finfacts: … 1871.shtml

NB: this article contains sensible comment from a “leading economist”. Avert your eyes if you can’t stand the sight of it.

It’s not an isolated occurence…almost ALL of my clients estimate this stuff and appox half simply make it up as in they don’t look at any figures whatsoever!

… or maybe the kids just went back to school in September?

Perhaps indeed :smiley:

And yet there are 500 people working in the CSO…

And yet there are 500 people working in the CSO…

There was a programme on recently where they got 100 people to guestimate the weight of a cake.

the end figure was within grams of the correct result.

Perhaps someone with an interest in maths who saw the programme could expound!!!

Note people were not being asked about the future.

The theory would be that even through educated guesses over estimates and underestimates will level out and provide an accurate enough reflection of a figure. I know how much business I did last Quarter and could give fairly accurate guesses on many figures.

Some would be wrong but no big deal.

Overall figure would be reflect reality accurately.

look at the efficency when technology & access are employed to a specific subject/issue, as in propertypin forum and how its managed to paint I believe a lucid picture with a handful of regular posters and the wider assement and anecdotal knowledge of the wider user base.

Completely voluntary.

Imagine what you coud do with a dedicated team of 500 of the most interested passionate people.

My entries are certainly guesses, but it’s a fairly simple business, so the guesses would be pretty accurate.

But man do those questionaires piss me off. As if I don’t have better things to do with my time. Most of the info I provide could easily be figured out from company tax returns etc.

If they have more detailed questions a quick sample of the companies could be done.

But no. Every business owner in the country has to waste their time with this crap, and for what, so that they can release a statement to the press that’s probably giving an inaccurate spin anyway.

And they don’t give up. If you refuse to fill it out they hound you. You have a legal obligation. It’s like they have nothing better to do.


It is their job though, not so surprising they hound you…

Like I said there’s 500 of them!

It’s an observation by a chap called Francis Galton who was a 19th Century statistician. He observed something similar where there was a competition to guess the weight of a pig at a county fair and whoever was the nearest won the Pig. He asked the competition organisers to give him all the entries for it afterwards. He added them all up and divided them by the number of them to get the mean and found that it was nearly exactly correct.

As long as the sample is big enough this will always be the case.

The book to read on this is the Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. I started it have been meaning to get back to it.

I’d like to see this with my own eyes. Can someone bring a pig and a weighing scales to the Christmas party?

I was involved in a robbery once. Not telling which side. The raiders carried a medium size bag. All 12 Staff in the premises were interviewed afterwards by Gardai Detectives and each gave a different colour for the bag.

Now, add them all up, and devide by -----. What answer do you want?

What colour was it really?

I think it was an ox ( and I think he was Isaac Newton’s cousin).

There are certain conditions that need to hold in order to provide “cognitative diversity”:

  • Sufficient numbers
  • Independence within the group
  • Some level of knowledge within the group

Failure of these (note the bold) can lead to bubbles…