GDP

The government has promised a ‘wellbeing budget’. No one seems to know what that means. We can set out some preliminary economic understandings.

There is a story of a little old lady who woke up after a close election and was told that the result was a ‘hung parliament’. She responded that she did not know what that meant, but it sounded like a good idea.

A new book extends the challenge of how to have a decent society for all. We can do better.

From the 1930s when GDP was first systematically measured, economists knew that it was not a good measure of wellbeing.

But do we have the foggiest idea of what it means or how to do it well?

Once upon a time, say 80 years ago back in the days of the First Labour government, ‘social investment’ referred to the government spending, including on education, health and children, which in the long run would add to the wellbeing of the nation.

Forget the hype, food is as cheap as it ever was

Food is likely to increase in price this year. Not as much as salaries, fuel or electricity; probably not as much as housing. But a bit. This is the prediction by the US Department of Economics. The increase is due to the ongoing effects of the 2012 drought and the increased demand from Asia.

Each time prices rise there are complaints from society and farmers take the flack.

UN gets briefing on Syria; Japanese fire water cannons at Taiwanese boats; China commissions its first aircraft carrier; two US marines face charges for urinating on Taliban bodies; IMF warns Argentina it must provide reliable inflation and GDP statistics; and more

Top of the Agenda: UN Envoy Warns Security Council Over Syria