Elvis Seen as Litmus Test for US Economy

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Elvis Seen as Litmus Test for US Economy

Post by andrew666 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:17 pm

Not many people know this, but as an economist I can confirm that the performance of the Elvis stores is often seen as a litmus test for the US economy. The reason for this are that Elvis fans are seen as largely inelastic in their behaviour - they would rather give up other things, sometimes even food, rather than give up the purchases that link them to their hero.

What that means is that if Elvis fans stop buying, the economy is in deep trouble. That's been pretty much the case in the USA (United States of Asses) since about Nov 2008. However, just recently, two Elvis impersonators have been seen in the Doowop Shop in Louisville, Kentucky. The first bought a wireless microphone and the second bought some portable stagelights. This is a good sign. "There was a big Elvis drought," said shop manager Rob Baker, "Elvis is a dipstick, of sorts, for our economy. The party business is coming back. People are not thinking twice about having an event. They are feeling a bit more relaxed."

However, things may not be as straightforward as it seems. The two impersonators turned up in August - the anniversary of the King's death - so discretionary spending in this field is likely to be more positive than normal.

The wider indicators suggest the US economy is still on a precipice - house sales are down and estimated unemployment amongst young black youths, another useful indicator, is at a staggering 84%.

Regrettably, for the US, there's still A Mess of Blues.


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