Forget GDP growth, the unemployment rate and even the Big Mac Index. If you want to know how the economy is really doing, and you’re male, just open your fly. (Note: We don’t recommend doing this at work.) According to the Men’s Underwear Index, if your underwear is relatively new, the recovery is on the way. If not, well, we really don’t want to know about it.
The Men’s Underwear Index is the brainchild of research firm Mintel, and it’s based on a fairly simple concept: When times are good, men buy new underwear on a regular basis. But when the bottom drops out of the economy, sales slow as more guys begin to allow the tighty wihties to slowly turn gray (psst: start separating the whites and colors and use some bleach if this is you).
Mintel began checking out men’s underwear in 2003, and this year, the company expects sales to fall about 2.3% — the first droop, er, drop since then. A further decline, by about 0.5%, is expected next year, though if you’re still waiting at that point, we really think you should skimp on something else, and splurge on a few new pairs. Either that or just go commando; it’s a better option than what’s going to be left in your dresser by that point.
Blue Chip, White Cotton: What Underwear Says About the Economy [Washington Post]
via Real Estate Dispatch