On the economy

A couple of weeks ago I read a column by a fool columnist, I can’t remember who but I think it might have been Morgan Housel. He wrote that there are some odd little indices that may tell more about the economy than may tell more about the future of the economy that the GNP. These were:

Number of miles driven by a family per quarter or per year (I can’t remember which)
The Restaurant Performance Index (whatever that is), and
Hotel Occupancy

He said that all of these are higher than they’ve been for 15 or 20 years, or forever, while another

New Vehicle Sales

is close to an all time high, and that all of them say that the average person is feeling better about the economy than he or she has felt in a long, long time. Which is good news for the economy and for stocks.

Interesting way of looking at things.

Saul

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Number of miles driven by a family per quarter or per year (I can’t remember which)
The Restaurant Performance Index (whatever that is), and
Hotel Occupancy

He said that all of these are higher than they’ve been for 15 or 20 years, or forever, while another

New Vehicle Sales

is close to an all time high, and that all of them say that the average person is feeling better about the economy than he or she has felt in a long, long time. Which is good news for the economy and for stocks.

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what is driving these, and no indicator happens in a vacuum (which is to say, there’s usually something else in the economy that is also affected, perhaps negatively).

For example, if the restaurant performance index is based on more millennials living at home and eating out (or just hanging out, because they don’t have a job), that’s not exactly great news. They may be good news, but without knowing more context, they may just be more numbers without much significance.

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