There are a multitude of economic indicators to use as a barometer of the economy. Many are extremely complex, while others are fairly simple. One of the more unusual ones actually seems to make a lot of sense. Look at your underwear drawer!
I was recently reading an article in the Washington Post (article) and assumed that it must have been a slow news day. The reporter was talking about how consumer confidence can be gauged by the underwear you keep. It seems that there is even a Men’s Underwear Index (MUI), and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan sees it as a credible means of tracking consumer sentiment.
The theory behind the index is that men will replace their underwear as it wears out. However, when times are tough they will wait longer than usual before purchasing a replacement. So when money is tight the sales of boxers and briefs are in the toilet. When people feel better about the economy again you will see the sales rise.