Business & Finance: Naked Statistics

BUSINESS & FINANCE

JANUARY AUTO SALES DOWN 26% AUTO FACTORY SALES UP IN JANUARY BY 26%

Both these headlines appeared in the daily press last week. Both were based on figures released by the Department of Commerce. Both compared January 1934 with January 1933. Together they offered a neat example of the fatuity of considering naked statistics. As everyone knows, production of most 1934 models was delayed by last autumn's tool & die makers' strike. With few exceptions, dealers did not have new models to deliver until late in January if at all. The decrease was calculated on the value of all automobiles...

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