The Daily Telegraph
Treasury misled public over the scale of falling inflation
BRITISH statistics bosses have rebuked the Treasury for “misleading” the public over the recent slowdown in inflation.
The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), which supervises all official UK statistics, censured senior Treasury officials over a misleading tweet sent on Feb 15 that featured a graph showing inflation falling from 11.1pc in November 2022 to 10.1pc this month.
In a rare public reprimand, Ed Humpherson, the OSR’S director general, said the graph gave “a misleading impression of the scale of the deceleration in inflation, due to the y-axis beginning at 8pc” instead of zero.
This gave the impression of a more dramatic drop than in reality, he said, and went against the Government’s own official guidance on how to present data. The truncated graph provided information that was of “little use”, Mr Humpherson said.
In a letter addressed to David Pares, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s press secretary, Mr Humpherson said the regulator “consider[s] that the way the tweet presents this data to be misleading”.
The Treasury tweeted a similarly misleading chart in January, he said.
The Treasury declined to comment.