August 12, 2005

Speeding Up by Slowing Down

The Corner on National Review Online
Economically-literate readers might like to turn their hand to parsing these two paragraphs:

The European economy appears to be regaining some momentum and the indications are that things will continue to improve in the second half of the year, the European Commission announced yesterday (11 August)

Presenting its growth figures for the second quarter of 2005, the Commission said that the euro zone had grown by 0.3%, a much stronger performance than most analysts had expected, although weaker than the 0.5% seen in the first three months of the year.

Only in Brussels could 'regaining momentum' mean slowing down, and 'stronger than expected' mean worse than you would expect given the last evidence. By this metric, of course, the EU is militarily strong, its borders secure and its leaders stalwart, which is what they all appear to think."