As economics is a social science, we all exist or swim in the soup of its existence. The best economic indicators are within 3 miles of your house. No really, they are. I’m always observant of the world, mostly my world, as a launching point for economic discussion or analysis.
I’ve learned to get better at taking in the signs of my current surroundings, stepping back, and examining how they apply to everyone else. On occasion, I’m able to at least scope out an investment idea which ostensibly requires further homework and some hair pulling. But that’s ok. I’m thinking. I’m observing. I’m talking. I’m taking notes.
However you want to term it – Economic conditions are sluggish, sort of ok, not so hot; as a friend of mine would lament – sort of “meh.” I’m thinking the economy is somewhere between “meh,” and “yay!” Like pergatory. No fire, brimstone. No heaven. Just sort of blah. There’s an economic angel in there somewhere waiting for wings. For the first time, in a long time, I’m seeing a decent positive tone to my 5 hometown signs of economic recovery.
1). Waitstaff at my local Denny’s is progressively less appealing to the eye. During the throes of the financial crisis, I noticed the waiters, waitresses, cashiers, looked like models. Good-looking people were serving me my Grand Slam Breakfasts. Now, not so much. The current staff messes up my order more often now, too (I ordered over easy not scrambled). In my mind, the lookers have moved on to better opportunities. I’m willing to sacrifice my breakfast for the greater good of economic prosperity.
Why did my sexy waitstaff wander off?
2). It takes twice as long as usual for Domino’s to deliver my order of chicken wings. My pup Princess hates this even more than I do. I ask: Hey, what’s up with the wings taking an hour to fly over here? I’m sorry sir we are really, really busy. I don’t understand it. And it’s a Tuesday. I always tip the Domino’s delivery people 20 percent.
3). Less bodies at the local gym at 2pm weekdays. I shouldn’t even be there at 2pm weekdays. It seemed that during the “Great Recession,” I couldn’t find an available treadmill. Now? Rows and rows (and rowing machines). Perhaps it has to do with people waiting for their chicken wings from Domino’s and losing weight from starvation. May be coincidence but I’ll take it as a positive.
4). Higher heads. I’m noticing progressively higher tilts to the jawlines. Like the people on the street are working through this economic cycle, getting a better handle on their household financial situations, feeling lighter, less burdened. I’m seeing more of a shine to people’s eyes. Perhaps more of a focus on the little things that are more important. I like it although I’m a bit paranoid so I’m always thinking people are staring at me for some reason. At the zenith of the housing bubble I was downright paranoid all the time. Now? Slightly. Good sign.
I’m walking here..
5). Everywhere I go temporary license plates. I know for sure autos make up more of our GDP growth than housing does. I’m seeing more temporary tags than ever on the back of cars. They’re usually poorly printed paper tags that look like your kid drew them using black crayon on white posterboard.
Ok, these are fun, perhaps silly. We are completely entitled as deep inside we are all economists.
You know you have your five. Or two. Or one.
Share them. Write this stuff down. See if you’re correct in a year.
What – you have anything else to do?
Not an economic sign.
Wonderful corellary drawn between everyday activities in ones direct line of sight, and the overall health of the economy. I remember being in the car with my daughter one day shortly after the crash of ’08 and seeing a hummer driving down the street with a dominos pizza sign on the roof. Talk about a double shot of PERSPECTIVE.