Watching the bottomline

Men's Underwear Index is an unconventional economic indicator which measures how well the economy is doing based on the sales of men's undies, suggesting a decline in the sales indicate a struggling economy, while booming sales of underwear predict an improving economy.

1. Hemlines: First suggested in 1925 the Hemline Index proposes that skirt hemlines are higher when the economy is performing better. For instance, short skirts were in vogue in the 1990s when the tech bubble was increasing.

2. Haircuts: It has been suggested that during good economic times, customers will visit salons for haircuts every six weeks, while in bad times haircut frequencies drop to every eight weeks.

3. Dry-cleaning: This indicator suggests that dry cleaning drops during bad economic times, as people only take clothes to the cleaners when they absolutely need to when budgets are tight.

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4. Fast food: Many analysts believe that during financial downturns, consumers are far more likely to buy cheaper fast food options, while when the economy heads into an upswing, patrons are more likely to focus more on healthier food and eating in nicer restaurants.

The return cycle

"My bike was stolen last week and I saw it for sale online ... So I messaged the seller and [met] him at McDonald's and when I noticed it was 100 per cent my bike I asked him if I could take it for a test ride. He said, 'yeah, just don't ride off' ... Which [is] exactly what I did. I stole my bike back."

Things you need to know today ...

A new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia called License to Swill has found that James Bond has a "severe alcohol use disorder". In Quantum of Solace he downs six vesper martinis while on an aeroplane, enough to kill some people ... And the first husband of the actress Bette Davis divorced her on the grounds that she read "to an unnecessary degree".

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz