How to Predict the Upturn?

In these troubled times, there are things that are much nicer to think about or look at as indicators of how business is going and who’s buying what and who’s off-loading where. It’s not all boring traders sitting behind desks and beads of sweat dripping down foreheads, and scoffing sandwiches and choking on pretzels as the dollar takes a dive or we learn that the bond sell-off is underway as the Federal Reserve pulls the plug. Have you had enough of Abenomics? Have you had enough of the Obamanometer to measure economic growth?

They might be oddball, but there are researchers out there that collect data on almost anything and everything.  In troubled times look at something else for inspiration to see where we are going next. It can’t be any worse than trying to predict the bears and the bulls before they happen. It sends your blood pressure sky high, leads to divorce and ranting partners, screaming kids, and you’ll only finish up in some bar drinker double martinis.

Look at the research and take heed!

  1. In troubled times, people increase their use of coupons and money-off vouchers from stores. There are ways to save and this is one of them. The number of coupons peaked in 2010 at 178 billion in the US. So, either one of you out there is doing a damn lot of cutting and pasting, or we are all using them. That works out at nearly 600 coupons for each one of us in the States! But, things are getting better…or we’ve had enough or the scissors have gone blunt. We reduced our use of coupons by 8% last year and that means: the recession is over? Wish it were!
  2. Research shows that when things are set to improve economically the clothes come off and we feel liberated and at ease with nudity. The number of magazine covers that show naked people coincides with the period just before a bull. Check out the mags, guys! The more the clothes come off in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the more skin you get to see, the better the outlook is going to be!
  3. Diapers. Yes, it’s not that weird. In economically prosperous times, we have confidence in the future. When we are confident, we make babies, don’t we? Well, the nation’s fertility rate has dropped. It’s now below replacement levels and there should be growing concern about the future. It’s now below the 2.1 necessary level just to keep the population afloat (which is the number of children we are supposed to have to maintain population at the current level).
  4. Cinema theatre and entertainment sales increase. Yes, believe it or not, if we can’t get a job, we go to the cinema. We bury our heads in make-believe fantasy fiction and we get away from the sad and bad lives that we lead. If sales are up, the recession is on. Sales are up again if we compare 2012 to 2011 (from 1, 283 million to 1, 364.7 million) at box offices across the US.
  5. Men’s underwear increases in a country where people believe that they are going to enter a bull market. Guys who are poverty-stricken and that don’t have a cent to spare are hardly going to spend money on their boxers, are they? Who are they going to strike it lucky with anyhow? The really bad times? Guys go commando, don’t they? Last year sales for underwear increased by 6% standing at $2.194 billion. When did you last buy new white briefs, boys?
  6. Toothbrushes. When we enter economic meltdown, we tend to go to the dentist less, apparently. That’s reasonable. Toothbrush sales go up as we start caring for our teeth more on our own. Impossible to see the statistics for this…so, you’ll have to judge that yourself.
  7. Hot Waitress Theory. When you go to the local diner, take a look at the woman serving you. If she is a young, sexy lady, then things have taken a downturn already. Apparently, in troubled times, the ladies can’t get by on their looks alone and they find fewer jobs as models, actresses or party hosts. Maybe the same thing should stand for the good-looking guys too. Why didn’t someone invent the good-looking bar tender index?
  8. Lipstick and Make-up. When things are taking a nosedive, women resort to using more make-up as a means to appear more attractive. It will give them better chances at job interviews.
  9. Hemlines. When hemlines recede, we are getting ready for a bull run. Confidence in themselves and confidence in the economy means the ladies show their legs. Or they get told to by the fashion industry.
  10. Join the Marines! Your country needs you! When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The downturn means that there are more people that join up and sign their lives away in the hope of a better life working for their country. The US Army exceeded the 2012 goal of 27, 550 (they recruited 27, 701).

Take a look at the list! Isn’t it surprising that most of those indicators concern women? Clothes, make-up and looks? Who said women were not part and parcel of our economy? Who said they didn’t play a major role in what we do every day? Move over guys, it’s the ladies that are the real indicators of what’s going on in our economies and they have been running the show for years now! But, you knew that, already!

About The Author

tothetick

Professional team of writers/analysts analyzing the financial markets.

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