When people think of recession, they think of complex financial numbers, stocks, and red down arrows.
During the last 100 years or so, economists have noticed some weird and unexpected correlations between simple everyday things and the existence or absence of a slow economy. In no particuar order:
1. Decrease in car accidents
Scientists have noticed that during a slow economy, car accidents tend to decrease.
One of the reasons they think this happens is because during an economic crisis people just stop going out unless they really have to.
So a decrease in car accidents probably means that there is a problem in the economy.
2. Increase in popcorn purchase (wholesale and retail)
Now, this is really weird. What does popcorn have to do with recession?
Well apparently when people don't have money to spend on leisure, they search for cost-effective ways to have fun and release some steam from the daily stress. A movie ticket and bag of popcorn seem to be the most affordable leisure activity for most people.
So if popcorn sales increase, we are probably in a recession.
3. Decrease in divorces
This really surprised me. I was expecting divorce rates to increase during difficult times, but apparently, the financial burdens and the uncertainty that come along with a divorce discourage most unsettled couples from taking the separation decision and prefer to wait until things are clearer.
So, if fewer people get divorced, then we might be on our way into an economical crisis.
4. Hot waitress Economic Index
The "Hot waitress/waiter economic Index" describes the overhiring of attractive young women and men at restaurants in an attempt to entice people to go out and dine at restaurants in difficult times, a trend that has been repeatedly noticed in previous recessions.
The next time you go out for dining and notice that the waitresses are overly attractive, we could be living in an already struggling economy.
5. Increase in Tie Sales
When the economy is slow, more people lose their jobs. What do you do when you lose your job? You attend job interviews. And what do you need for a job interview as a man? A new tie.
An increase in tie sales could be a clear sign of a recession.
6. Increase in Lipstick sales
What does lipstick have to do with the economy? Many cosmetics companies have noticed that lipstick sales increased in 2008 and in previous recessions. To understand this trend a survey has been conducted to understand why women buy lipstick when money is short. Most participants said because they can no longer buy expensive items, so they choose to pamper themselves with the most affordable product, lipstick. Most women said that lipstick helps them feel more confident and increases their self-esteem.