The Starbucks Index
Alternately, you haves the Big Mac Index, which measures the strength of American currency against international currency. Or look to the Men’s Underwear Index (MUI), which you can read more about on page 70. The Appalachian Trail Hikers Index (ATHI) follows the number of hikers who left from Georgia en route to Maine. This year’s uptick explained that more people had time on their hands and, quite frankly, walking is free. If unemployment numbers start to decrease, I bet the ATHI will too.
The list of everyday indicators out there that accurately show our economic health are plentiful. And there are many that assert the recession is beginning to abate, from increases in wine auction sales to rises in restaurant dumpster levels. If we are observant of the world around us, all these minor details will begin to add up—hopefully in the value of the big old American Big Mac more than anything else.