Daily Archives: August 30, 2011

Claire Jones

Do today’s Bankstats data go some way to explaining why the Financial Policy Committee is so concerned about the commercial real estate sector?

The Bank of England data show that, at £2.94bn, write-offs for bank and building society loans to non-financial corporations in the three months to June were at their highest level since the Bank began collecting the data in 1993. The figure jumped from £1.08bn in the first quarter. The previous high was £2.49bn, seen in the final three months of 2009.

How much of this is accounted for by commercial real estate loans? Read more

Real geeks like me who like downloading data from national statistical websites will have come into work today all of a quiver. The UK Office for National Statistics launched its new website over the weekend promising “to make it easier for our users to find the content they are looking for“.

Apart from expected teething troubles of extremely slow running, the website shows a worrying lack of input from statisticians. For a start, selection of individual data seems to working only occasionally. Most alarmingly, when data is downloaded in Excel, the format conflates annual data, quarterly data and monthly data as below.

No one would ever want to look at data in this crazy format. Monthly data is even worse, mixing monthly quarterly and annual data in one column.

I have complained to the ONS. But in a spirit of public service, I have two ways to work around the problem.

 Read more

Ralph Atkins

Ever wondered what a real European bank panic would look like? The European Central Bank today, inadvertently, provided a glimpse of what its daily liquidity monitors might show.

By mistake, the ECB posted on its website the wrong data on use of its emergency overnight “marginal lending facility” – giving a shock to anyone making their daily check of the health of the eurozone banking system. Read more