a thumb on the scales

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kyo880418

Senior Member
chinese
Economists seem at a loss as to whether or not the re-weighting of China’s inflation index has had a notable effect on January’s inflation number. At 4.9 per cent, it’s weaker than expected – but is that because there’s a thumb on the scales?

what does the "a thumb on the scales" mean? Thank you!
 
  • KHS

    Senior Member
    I believe this refers to weighing of a product for sale by weight. Dishonest sellers put a thumb on the scale (trying to hide this from the purchaser, of course) to falsely increase the weight of the product, and thereby sell it for more than it was actually worth. So, in this case they are asking if someone is artificially manipulating the information.
     

    kyo880418

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I believe this refers to weighing of a product for sale by weight. Dishonest sellers put a thumb on the scale (trying to hide this from the purchaser, of course) to falsely increase the weight of the product, and thereby sell it for more than it was actually worth. So, in this case they are asking if someone is artificially manipulating the information.
    Thank you. I get that this phrase refers to falsely increase the weight of the product. In this case, if someone "puts a thumb on the scales",the CPI be stronger, higher than 4.9%. Then why the author says "it's weaker"? Thank you.
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    I don't think that it necessarily implies the direction (higher or lower) of the manipulation (in spite of the original use), simply that someone is attempting to manipulate the information to his advantage.
     
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