How to Tell if the Economy is Recovering — or NOT

Interesting signs of the times are not always those observed and analyzed by economic observers.  Lipstick, men’s underwear, moviegoing habits and other ordinary activities provide a refreshing view of the state of the economy.  Check this link out for more details.

1.  Men’s underwear:  A dip in the sales of this item is a sign that men are feeling the pinch. This report cites Alan Greenspan’s book “The Age of Turbulence” where he says that men tend not to replace their underpants when they feel trouble looming. 

2. Lipstick index: Immediately after the 9/11 attacks in the US, Estee Lauder chairman studied sales of their lipstick products and discovered that women were buying more lipstick than usual, bolstering the psychological view that women put on lipstick to feel good about themselves.   They went further to speculate that in times of economic recession, women will turn to inexpensive options for feeling good, lipstick being one of them.

3.  Foundation index: Closely related to the lipstick index is the use of foundation to get flawless looking skin, in lieu of expensive facial treatments and trips to the salon that women tend to forego during a recession.  Similar observations were made on sales of DIY hair dye home treatments.

4.  Hot Waitress Index:  New York Magazine contributed this piece of indicator– that in times of recession, waitresses appear to be hotter, possibly owing to the slump in the job market and oversupply of workers.

Read more for other interesting observations.

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