No, I’m not talking about NBC, though I suppose the actual story isn’t any less bizarre…
I wrote a few times last fall about weird economic indicators ranging from men’s underwear to hair dye. (In case you were wondering, an economic indicator is just a statistic that happens to track the path of the overall economy fairly well. Therefore, economists and others can use that indicator as a proxy for the economy as a whole. You can have leading indicators, which tend to move before the economy moves, lagging indicators, which tend to move after the overall economy moves, or coincident indicators, which move at the same time as the overall economy. Leading indicators, therefore, are intuitively the most appealing, since they have that canary in the coal mine sort of quality.)
Speaking of birds, apparently we now have a peacock indicator, since bright colors and patterns are supposedly indicative of economic recovery:
Marshal Cohen, the chief analyst for the market research firm NPD Group, even interprets the resurgence of multihued designs as an indicator of recovery. “Among the first things to be successful coming out of a recession are lively colors and patterns,” he said.
This is what happens when I get all of my news from The Onion and the NYT style section. I apologize profusely.