View from City Road: Room to improve City figures

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The City is immensely important to the prosperity of this country, but it should have enough self-confidence not to exaggerate its role. When the Central Statistical Office gave up publishing the disreputable annual figures for the City's overseas earnings, the City's luminaries on the trade body - British Invisibles - should have taken the hint and improved them.

It would be valuable to have statistics that looked in depth at the City's service earnings (including the earnings of accountants, management consultants and law firms, overlooked by yesterday's figures) and its market share. But figures that attribute the total pounds 11.7bn of overseas investment income flowing into pension funds, unit trusts and so on to the City are simply propaganda.

The City adds its management expertise. But someone else saved the money first - and earns the return.