10 economic indicators you haven’t thought about
Economic tell-tales come from a variety of sources — from the obvious (the Labor Department) to the less so (home decor magazine sales). Here’s a look at some of the more sideways signals we’ve tracked in the past.
Trash: How does our garbage relate to our GDP? Economist Michael McDonough gives us the GDP-to-trash economic indicator.
Google searches: New research links Google search terms and the stock market. In particular, watch for the terms “debt,” “portfolio” and “stocks.” As searches for those words go up, the Dow Jones goes down and vice versa.
Lipstick: When the economy is down, lipstick is up.
Hemlines: As the theory goes, when women’s hemlines go up, so do stocks. Short skirts, good times?
Champagne: Consumption of the celebratory drink may indicate just how bubbly the economy is.
The Macy’s Christmas Tree: This one’s like the groundhog, if the tree snaps, five more years of GDP winter.
Charitable giving: As to be expected, charities can take a hit in a down economy. But something more surprising– how much you give could indicate your personal wealth. According to a recent study, low-income individuals donate more than high-earners.
Home and living magazines: A strong housing market means more ads for your favorite glossy living magazine.
Heard of any others? How do you tell if the economy is on its way up or down? Let us know in a comment below.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.