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.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.