Uncommon Economic Indicators

Despite all of the government’s TV ads stating the contrary, we are still in the throes of an economic downturn. The provincial government is still in a hiring freeze, businesses still have trouble finding credit, and the Canadian dollar is still at par with the US. Take any market chart you like and the numbers will likely be negative.

It’s easy to get depressed about figures like these, but I find myself more fascinated by so called “Uncommon” economic indicators surveyed by NPR in Washington State (Link). In this survey, they had people fill in the following sentence: Indicators for me that the economy is getting better or worse is when I see or hear ____ (blank). From 1200 responses they came up with things like the weight of container ships in ports, or the length of lines at Starbucks. After doing some thinking, I’ve come up with a couple of indicators of my own.

-Crowds at dollar and thrift stores

-Home depot setting up bleachers to seat all of their applicants (Many of whom are older adults in suits)

-Seeing the same set of commercials on television over and over again

Has anyone else noticed uncommon economic indicators? If you can think of any, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

3 thoughts on “Uncommon Economic Indicators

  1. Steve

    Your commercial comment totally makes sense, and something I noticed in addition to just the same set of commercials running over and over, is the re-use of commercial that were made years ago. Not old enough to look like something you’d reminisce over on YouTube, but things like the Coast Capital Savings commercial with all the men with long hair. I found the overuse of old commercials especially bad on high profile events like the Superbowl, where generally a company is putting their best foot forward to take advantage of the huge audience.

    Another possible indicator I have noticed, and it may be exacerbated by my apartment living, is getting 3-4 new pizza delivery flyers every day in the mail. I used to manage a pizza store, and we’d do a flyer drop once a month if not less frequently. Now my old store seems to be doing flyers once a week or more, as are all the competitors.

  2. James Post author

    That’s pretty odd. Would they do that because they have money for fliers, or are they still desperate for customers?

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