June 17th, 2009 @ 7:33am
By Mary RichardsSALT LAKE CITY --
From underwear to new houses, what you buy shows how the economy is going. It's time to mention your "unmentionables."
To be brief, people are not buying new underwear. University of Utah finance professor Scott Schaeffer says panties and skivvies are now in the wants, not needs, drawer. "People tend to stop buying things that are not going to be noticed," he explained. Schaeffer says we're still getting haircuts, and Hollywood stars are still getting face-lifts.
But the stars are no longer paying to valet park, and old undies are easier to hide.
But the professor says it's not as easy to say, "Go buy new undies and we'll get out of this recession." "It doesn't work that way," Schaeffer said. "The underwear industry is not large enough relative to the economy to lead us out of the recession. This is more of an indicator." Schaeffer says this week's housing start numbers are a better sign: Buying new homes is tied directly to new jobs.