With pundits and politicians muddying the waters about where the economy is going, it helps to know what some solid indicators of recovery might look like. Here are five surprising indicators that, according to Forbes, can give you a good idea of what is happening with the economy.
1. Denim Sales
Because they are inexpensive, jeans are among the first items that people buy when the economy starts to recover. It’s a way to ease back into buying apparel. Denim sales jumped in the first part of 2009, as compared to the first part of 2008.
2. Hotel Cancellations
When the economy is struggling, hotel cancellations — from personal getaways to business conferences — rise. People are reluctant to spend money on what is considered unnecessary. From October 2008 to March 2009, reports Forbes, cancellations at the MDM Mirage in Las Vegas were up more than 50%. However, that number has come down and event planners are starting to book hotel conference space for next year and 2011.
3. Restaurant Trash
When restaurants see their garbage bins fill up, it’s a sign that people are eating out again. During tough economic times, restaurants tend to see a decline in business as customers stay away, opting to save money by cooking at home. When things start to improve, the bins fill up faster. Some restaurant owners are starting to feel better about the smell emanating from behind their establishments.