Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

And not a drop to drink. I mean think. Absolute numbers can be absolutely worthless. But who’s counting?

Covid-19

Read an interesting observation yesterday while going through an article by journalist Jürgen Kunze at the Swiss nzz.

Is the USA going to get the pandemic under control? Looking at absolute numbers can be spectacular but being that it was the expected number of deaths that got politicians to act we must concentrate on that: Per 100,000 inhabitants, the death rate list is led by Belgium with 86, followed by Great Britain with 70, then Peru 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, Sweden 56, Chile 54, USA 50, Brazil 48, France 46. Germany lands at place 36 with 11. Consequently, the USA is in the upper middle range. Shouldn’t one be asking why Belgium can’t get the pandemic under control!

Bekommen die USA die Seuche nicht in den Griff? Der Blick auf absolute Zahlen kann spektakulär sein, aber da ja die erwarteten Sterbefälle die Politik zum Handeln zwang, müssen wir auch dabei bleiben: Pro 100000 Einwohner führt die Todesratenliste (alles gerundet) Belgien mit 86 Toten an, gefolgt von Großbritannien mit 70, dann Peru 67, Spanien 61, Italien 58, Schweden 56, Chile 54, USA 50, Brasilien 48, Frankreich 46 und an 36. Stelle Deutschland mit 11 Verstorbenen. Somit befinden sich die USA noch im oberen Mittelfeld. Man müsste eigentlich fragen, warum Belgien die Seuche nicht richtig in den Griff bekommen hat!

 

German Of The Day: Übersterblichkeit

That means higher mortality rate.

Dead

But you need to read in which context it is being used here to get the whole message: Nur geringe Übersterblichkeit – Todesfälle im April knapp über dem Schnitt. That is: Only a slightly higher mortality rate – The fatalities in April were just slightly above average.

My, that is odd, isn’t it? Wasn’t April the big Corona month in Germany? Just like everywhere else? And the country’s mortality rate was only slightly higher than usual? There must be a mistake here somewhere. Or were we all mislead to expect something else? Certainly not intentionally. Or was it just ineptitude? Numbers, black on white like that, can be very mysterious sometimes. Especially when they don’t fit your story line.

Im April sterben zwar mehr Menschen in Deutschland als im Durchschnitt – der Anstieg beträgt aber nur wenige Prozent.

German Of The Day: 5 Billionen

That means 5 trillion (don’t ask, but it really does). And that’s how many euros German savers have set aside for a rainy day.

Trillion

That’s going to be one rainy day.

Zwar investierten die privaten Haushalte ihr Geld trotz niedriger Zinsen vor allem in kurzfristige und vermeintlich sichere Bankeinlagen. Trotzdem wuchs ihr Geldvermögen von Juli bis September 2014 um 28 Milliarden Euro oder 0,6 Prozent auf 5,01 Billionen Euro, wie die Deutsche Bundesbank mitteilte.

Would Numbers Lie?

News products can be that way. On the one hand the numbers tell us today that the mood in the German economy has picked up yet again and that German companies are looking ahead to 2015 with renewed confidence.

Positive

At the same time we read how Germany’s National Office for Statistics has determined that one in every five Germans is a victim of poverty.

A contradiction? Not necessarily, I guess. That’s why everybody’s kind of happy sort of around here these days. And that’s why I, for one, believe everything I read.

Die Stimmung in der deutschen Wirtschaft hat sich im Dezember erneut verbessert: Der Ifo-Index legte zum zweiten Mal zu.