Newscoma has an interesting post about a situation in her biz that’s troubling: because nobody is buying cars right now, car dealers aren’t advertising, and newspapers are feeling it.
It’s funny (not ha ha funny, but weird in an interesting kind of way funny) that if you live long enough, you learn non-traditional signs that the economy is on a downturn – almost like old ladies reading the wooly worms in the fall.
The one I’ve noticed in the last two downturns is the “Cracker Barrel on A Saturday Morning” index. We go about once a month, and the last couple of visits, we’ve been able to get a seat with no wait.
Most of you who do CB know that during headier times, a Saturday morning at Cracker Barrel usually means at least a 20 minute wait. And you’ve got to wonder, does that mean that the Country Store sales are way down? Not just because they have fewer customers, but because those customers have little or no wait time, thus decreasing their shopping time.
I don’t usually follow the economic reports, like those on CNBC, because they are either too immediate (oil is up! no, wait, it’s down! no, wait…) or too lagging the real world (“well, what do you know- we were already out of the recession when Bill Clinton was talking about the worst economy in the last 40 years in 1992…nevermind.”).
But, there are signs, for those who will see. I think the news is going to get a little worse before it gets better.
However, it will get better – probably in two or three quarters, no matter who gets elected president.
So, do you have any non-traditional economic indicators?