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Their secret indicator? EconoMeter panelists reveal theirs

Besides statistics, there are other signs - some quirky, some indicative of trends, perhaps


Friday, March 16, 2012

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Kelly Cunningham, National University System

Answer: Yes

Myriad unconventional indicators purportedly indicate the economy’s direction usually based upon consumer purchasing patterns. There may be some legitimate correlations since consumer spending fuels the economy more than any other single component. One of my favorites is the hemline indicator based upon the length of women’s skirts -- the shorter the hemline, the better the economy. The concept was actually developed in the 1920s by an economist. Hemlines below the knee in winter 2008 indicated we were hurtling toward recession. Disparate competing fashions of today may symbolize the current schizophrenic directions of the economy -- or maxi skirts now appearing signify another downturn.