Krugman seems astounded that a political figure would go on the teevee and lie. That’s kind of cute, that it still surprises him:
OK, that’s weird. I just taped This Week, which included an interview with Christine Lagard, the French finance minister. In her defense of austerity, she asserted that unemployment in France is down from 9.6 to 9.3. But I looked it up on Eurostat (pdf), which has French unemployment in August at 10.1, up from 9.6 a year ago.
Maybe she has somewhat different data — French concepts versus harmonized? was that a September number? — but one thing is clear: if the unemployment decline isn’t visible in the standard numbers, it can’t be that solid.