In fact , it seems that any report that contains a bad set of statistics invariably compounds the unwelcome news with some sort of arbitrary forecast that in a few months or years, the terrible figures are expected to double or treble or whatever negative equation takes your fancy.
I then went out to Golders Green in North London for a meal with my wife. But wherever you go you can't escape the unmistakable signs of the current recession. I quickly noticed that within a few yards of our restaurant, bailiffs had forced the closure of three other restaurants and a bar. Then while we were eating our meal, I couldn't help overhearing a number of people bemoaning the loss of their jobs or businesses. The evidence of deprivation and anxiety appears universal.
Finally, we got home and I checked the BBC News website. The headlines under the Main News (as well as the Entertainment) section was that Bob Geldof's teenage daughter, Peaches, had split up with her husband after six months of marriage. Ranking below this news in importance, were the terrible bush fires in Australia.
I scratched my head and asked the obvious question. Why did the BBC think this bit of worthless gossip was so important? Either they genuinely believed that their world audience gave a rat's buttocks about Geldof's child, or, alternatively, they thought this mindless bit of drivel would somehow distract people from the severity of the global recession.
I have no idea but clearly the BBC moves in mysterious ways.