Underwear Indicator Shows Recession Not Over Yet

The indicators down below show we're still in the pits

Believe it, underwear sales tell the truth about the times. It all comes form former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan: Holes in the wallet indicate holes in men's underwear. In the past year, purchases of men's unmentionables have fallen down to the ankles.

The brief case for optimism: Underwear sales have started to firm up.

Still, economists suggest we've got a long way to go before men are back replacing their underpants on the regular. Don't look to women's underwear sales as a similar barometer. Research shows women stop splurging in bad times, but still spend on the basics.

Another sign that economic recovery is some time off? Restaurants are laying out fixed-price deals worldwide, as the dining industry feels people's pinched wallet. Downtown San Jose restaurants are the latest to pick up the trend, offering the best deals yet on prix-fixe menus. Good news if you're in the mood for a discount filet, but probably bad news if you're waiting for stocks to rebound.

From Lettuce Wraps at PF Chang's to filet mignon at Morton's, three-course prix-fixe menus are going for a great price. $30 will get you in the door and out on a cheap night on the town.

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