Good solid data is loved by the political and media classes, unless of course it points in the wrong direction. Then it’s an outlier, within the margin of error, set with an inappropriate baseline, or perhaps even the wrong thing to measure at all.

But very little data is neutral, nor neutrally reported. Each sort tends to have a skew built into it, some of which are well worth analysing.

Daily Mail FPHouse prices. A rise in house prices is overwhelmingly regarded as a win by the media, not just the Daily Mail. And if you have a buy-to-let portfolio it is, or indeed if you’re planning to sell your house and run a beach bar in Goa for your retirement. If, however, you don’t own a home but would like to, or have a small home and need a larger one, it’s bad news. I don’t own a home, but maybe I’d like to at some point, so rises are bad news for me. I think they’re also bad news for the economy and society, too: they give to the haves and increase division.

Inflation. Lower inflation is universally regarded as good news, which it is for pensioners on a fixed income, or people with substantial savings. But if you have substantial debts, they’re great. You want £10,000 back from me? Some inflation’s great, because the real value of that debt is now markedly lower. Hyperinflation along the Weimar model is clearly bad news, but for as long as we’re stuck with capitalism, very low inflation is certainly economically divisive.

Unemployment. Insofar as jobless rates are still much reported on, and given the caveat that the official figures are only those people still tenacious enough to navigate a Kafka-esque benefits system, reductions are regarded as good news. Which I would agree they are, of course. But if you’re a rapacious big business in need of desperate jobseekers, moderately higher unemployment is in your interests. A rare example where the standard reporting frame doesn’t follow the class interests of the employers.

Net immigration. All three parties who’ve run Westminster of late support bringing this number down, as part of their ultra-subtle Cosy Up To Farage strategy. I have entirely different concerns, including a desire to live in a more culturally diverse and economically successful country, and I see a decline in this rate as bad news. As the Telegraph itself put it, “because of immigration to the UK, British taxes are lower, spending is higher and the deficit is smaller. So, just for fun, let me ask the question again. Immigrants: don’t you just love ‘em?” Yes, yes I do.

Stock market movements. More tangential for most people, but rises are always described as positive. Personally, I’d love to see shares in polluting industries collapse, but that may be a minority position. Still, the reporting is even weaker here. Back in the old days, when British interest rates were still allowed to vary, you’d regularly see “Interest rate cut boosts markets” in the media. Er, no. If you’re in the City, you’re looking for the best return for your clients, or more accurately for yourself. So if interest rates fall, the balance of profitability between shares and bonds/currency tips in favour of shares. So share prices go up. It doesn’t tell you anything about the real economy whatsoever.

Anyone got any other glaring examples?