How seriously do you take official economic data?

When the latest economic figures are published (recent ones: grim reading), how seriously do you take them?


What I mean is – would you value government forecasts so much that you’d build them into your forward planning and decision-making?


It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about, but thinking about it now I suppose I don’t.


If the government publishes some new economic projections, I don’t immediately alter my business plan or schedule an operational review.


I tend to make a decision on a variety of factors – from local conditions to basic gut instinct.


Recent research by Axa backs this up. It found the majority of UK small businesses – 92 per cent – are not using official government economic predictions in their planning processes.


More than half (58 per cent) of those disregarding government forecasts when reviewing their business plans believed that the predictions were not relevant to their business and nearly a third (31 per cent) did not believe them to be accurate.


Instead, firms look to be turning to sources such as industry peers and business networks for external advice.


So is it that firms are growing untrustworthy of official data, and are turning to other sources for insight?


What do you think?