When I was in college I had to write a term paper in an Economics class which analyzed all of the current economic indicators. For those of you who aren’t familiar with economic indicators they are things like unemployment rate, housing starts, and the Consumer Price Index. With the stacks of analysis that I typed up I was then required to predict what would happen to the economy in the next year. I remember looking through all of my data that I had assembled and then basically making a wild guess and hoping my professor would buy it. I think I got a B on the paper.
Now that I’m a year or two older I realize the reason I had a hard time making sense of the economic indicators was because I was missing the most critical indicator of all. So, today I’d like to introduce you to the newest economic indicator which will surely be at the top of Timothy Geithner list the next time he briefs the president on the state of the economy.
*** The Mecca Price Index ***
A little under a year ago I wrote a post about the making trips to Mecca in our town. For those of you who haven’t been to Marysville, WA Mecca is the nickname of the local Coke bottling plant. In the parking lot there are 4 coke machines and last December a 12oz can of coke could be purchased for 25 cents. Times were good back then and everyone enjoyed social trips to Mecca for a refreshing beverage. Then in August of this year the Coke bottling plant placed signs on the Mecca machines stating that the price of soda would be increasing to 40 cents. I remember at the time thinking that the economy had really taken a turn for the worst and it would be a while before we bounced back. Since then the unemployment rate has gone above 10% for the first time since 1983. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Last night we heard a rumor that the price of a Mecca soda had dropped back down to 25 cents again. Could it be true? Could the economy be on it’s way up again? We made a family outing out of the rumor and confirmed that indeed the price of a 12 oz Coke is once again a mere 25 cents. Halleluiah!!!
So my report to Timothy Geithner is that the Mecca Price Index is down. Thus, by year end the economy will start its grand recovery.
I think I’ll enjoy a Coke right now in celebration. Now, if I just had an opportunity to do that term paper again maybe I would get an A this time.