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What are your economic indicators? In other words, how do you determine if the general public is worried about uncertain times?

Besides all the information the government publishes, I use three indicators.

The local feed and fertilizer / farm supply store

On Friday, May 22nd I was at Circle three feed in Jasper Texas to buy some chicks and chicken feed. While I was there I took a few minutes to talk to the nice lady behind the counter.

Usually, the chicks are sold between February, March and April.

This year, the farm supply store was not able to get chicks until April. The nice lady told me the store was not able to get chicks because the suppliers were sold out. In 15+ years, this is the first time the store had not been able to get chicks in February.

While at the farm supply store I bought:

10 Australorp chicks
7 Barred Rock chicks
100 pounds laying pellets
100 pounds hen scratch
25 pounds medicated chick starter

This is to go with the 12 chicks and 12 guineas my wife and I have coming in June.

When people start buying plants, seeds and chicks this usually means they are worried about the economy and food prices.

I live in a rural area. It is difficult "not" to know someone who has a garden, chickens, goats or cattle. When people are buying chicks they are worried about food.

How well are AR-15s selling

After I left Circle Three feed I went to the local super wal-mart in Jasper Texas. One thing I like to do is count how many AR-15s the store has in stock. When I walked through the sporting goods section there were 10 AR-15s on display.

The nice sales person told me they are selling an AR-15 once in a blue moon.

This tells me people are not worried about the government. Or rather the people are not worried about the government trying to take away guns.

Gun sales are also an indicator if people are worried about civil unrest. Living in a rural area my local gun sales are not an indicator if urban dwellers are worried about riots.

Ammunition sales

Besides how how well AR-15s are selling, I also look at how much ammunition is in stock. Everything but 22 long rifle was in stock.

Besides telling how the ARs were selling, the nice sales person also told me 22 long rifle was also telling out within hours of getting a shipment.

I do not know of if the 22 long rifle is supply and demand, or a low level of worry in the general population. The 22 long rifle is a great caliber for a long term SHTF situation.

Living in a rural area I do not know if people are buying 22 long rifle because they are worried or because the caliber is used for so many purposes.

What are your economic indicators

What do you use to determine if people are worried?
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Looking at it from a female perspective, here are the ones I see that pop up every time the economy starts making people more nervous.

Spike in the interest in Gardening and small animal husbandry - it used to just be volume, now there is more emphasis on organic foods, non-gmo vegetables, and meat produced without hormones and unnecessary antibiotics.

Interest increases in Canning and lately dehydrating - a lot more classes, equipment available at more physical stores, and interest in how to use it.

Big bump in the interest in cooking at home and cooking from scratch when people start getting really nervous about the economy.

Home Repair - How do we mend it, make it ourselves or what can we use instead that we don't have to finance.
 

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"eleutheromaniac"
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NONE......none of that effects me. I can't think of why it would matter, if the general public is worried about uncertain times?


"What are your economic indicators? In other words, how do you determine if the general public is worried about uncertain times"?
 

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The Economic Indicators that the general public is worried about uncertain times has already come.

As for , the sales of AR15s goes, that is not a good indicator. The market is literally flooded with ARs and ammo, and people have already bought as much as they can afford.

Local and national gun sales are on the decline as a lot of people maxed out their credit cards during the last scare, bought all they can possibly afford, and are selling at a loss right now to recoup some of their costs.

I tested the local market on Thursday to see how many people were desperate for work. I had a large area of my property that needed clearing, and I posted in a local Facebook 'Want Ad' group. Within 20 minutes I had 60+ inquiries on people wanting to know when and where to show up. With the local newspaper having very little in the way of 'Help Wanted' ads, and local companies laying off because of the market, people are hard up for any kind of work they can get.

As for another indicator, I have several friends who are/were local stock brokers, investment bankers, and real estate agents for large companies. I personally know 4 stock brokers, 1 investment banker, and 2 real estate agents that have recently 'closed shop' , retired at a very early age, and moved their family to remote areas of the Kentucky/Tennessee/Missouri country side. My grandfather, who went through the Great Depression at an early age, told me that when the investment people start retiring and leaving town, it's time to get ready.

Finally, the big indicator that the markets are in a dead cat bounce. Banks and car lots are handing out sub prime loans like they are candy. I have had no less than 5 solicitations in the past month from my bank a.k.a. mortgage holder to refinance my home under a 'no closing cost' and '1% less' interest rate loan.What they are counting on is what you call in the stock market as 'credit default swaps'. In other words, in lamen terms, they take out an insurance policy on your debt in the event that you default and they collect either way.

Hope this helps.
 

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last year I was laid off from a very good paying job and had to go to my secondary occupation commercial construction. this to me is the leading economic indicator as to were the economy is going, tenant improvement is when businesses hire us to improve or build their infrastructure in an existing location or a new storefront, it is our bread and butter.

last time I was working trades was the years leading up to the 2008-2009 crash, in 2008 work began to slow and by sept. 2009 work had stopped completely and I mean it came to a Halt. the company I worked for then is no more along with many others here who couldn't get contracts. so fast forward to now, I have been back in the trades since Nov. last year and work has been slow but steady until this month when the company I work for ran out of signed contracts. it is my experience that if we are working the normal 45-50 hours a week consistently then the economy is humming along perfectly (remember we only contract with businesses) if we are having a hard time consistently making 40 hours then the economy is starting to pull back. if we are waiting a week or two between jobs and still not getting 40 hours it's a recession.

should the work stop altogether that means another disaster is here, I have been off two full weeks and I might have company work this week-end so it's a ''verdict is still out'' sorta thing....honestly though right now the economy is stagnant and I don't see any return to the good ole days, just too many obstacles caused and placed by the government for any sort of meaningful business expansion. the bad part is that a lot of folks (saddled with debt) don't even realize whats goin on until they lose their jobs and find they either can't get another one in their field of expertise or they have to take a job that puts them in the under employed ranks. happened to my brother-n-law just last year, he lost the house and had to move to another state.
 

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What do you use to determine if people are worried?
For the general public, I look at what is coming out of the mainstream media because this is more than likely what the general public will accept as the truth. However for investors, I look at the price of gold to get an idea where their fear factor is.
 

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My job is getting easier...

I've noticed in the last few years that the ratio of vegetable sales vs seed sales has changed.
It used to be about an 80/20 percent flow.
Today it's near fifty fifty. Plant sales have been rising too.
Folks are wanting more than finding food at the market.
They want to find it growing at home too now.
Times are getting tougher...
 

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Cars:
I check out cars -- are people buying/leasing new or fixing up their old beater?

For a while there (early 2000s) in my area it was strange to drive an old car. Seems like now it's strange to have a newer one.

Homeless Camps/Hoovervilles:
These come and go, but lately the homeless have taken to building actual shanties on vacant lots by the freeway.

Couponing Camaraderie
I've been noticing a lot of interest in couponing lately. Not just the browse the sales items, but the die hard match sales and coupon 50% off or more rain check gettin' sort of couponing. I'm definitely not the only one any more and a lot of the sales clerks say they are couponing to make ends meet, too.
 

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Side note: Breed your own chickens. We bought chickens a grand total of once. Since then we incubate our own, and then we've got a broody hen this year so it looks like they're going to incubate them for us this time.

As for indicators: I look at necessities. Food and gas prices. Those are what make people change their behavior.
 

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Gitter Done!
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Indicators for me is when the town is nearly a ghost town and businesses have all closed up.

Lately 3 huge stores in the area have closed. I also heard lowes and sears in other states closed their doors. They usually were busy.

The housing market is still suffering. Houses go for half they used to still.
No indication its going to improve anytime soon. When real estate offices close up, we know its near.

Gas prices and food is still going up. Inflation to depression is trickling in.
A slow introduction so people have time to adapt and accept it.
Hyperinflation will be a bell ringer for many to tighten their belts another notch.

Tent cities are growing, foreclosures still the highest ever.
100 million on assistance programs and welfare.
I can't find any exact numbers on the homeless, but its growing each day.

Its a slow burn, since they keep printing money to slowly bring in the fire sale, we may have a few years yet unless they want to surprise us with a huge stock market crash and sent it into another dimension.
I keep an eye on the stock market just to see when its dropping off a cliff.

Its like watching a forest fire slowly come our way and not enough water in the country to fight it. It will happen sooner or later. Its unavoidable for an economic collapse.

Those that don't want to end up like their grandparents in the 1930s will prepare any way they can and learn as much as they can. A skill to fall back on and a plan B to bug out if all else fails.
 

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I went to a big, fancy Japanese grocery store in Portland this weekend.

I bought a couple of Thai Basil starts, and the young lady running the register looked at me and said "hmmm. Do you garden a lot?" I answered "A bit, why?" She said "well I see a lot more plants being sold this year from last year. People are saying that produce prices are going to go through the roof because of a drought in California so everybody is starting a garden. Do you think so too?"

Yep. I told this young lady to start gardening. Now. Start with anything you can and get your practice in. She seemed to take this old lady's advisement seriously and said she would.

Again, this is Portland, and a store that is frequented by mostly Japanese folks - some are quite wealthy judging by the cars in the lot. Very different demographic than Kev's.
 

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Well something positive is going on, there are more billboard advertisements for CDL driver's lately, and my company just instituted an across the board $.04 pay hike.

I'm a little more opinestic, even though things are slow it is not as bad as some think.
 

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I look at how many people are training - trade schools and finishing degrees.

My business sells toolkits to the American Welding Society and possibly to the Canadian one, too. They're still deciding. Orders for toolkits have steadily increased over the past few years -- ie, more students are trying to improve their certifications.

We also started selling e-commerce and I'm surprised how much we sell to guys working out of their garages. People still need equipment built & fixed, no matter the economy.

So - at one end of the scale - people are betting on infrastructure work in the future and the other end - putting their skills to work to keep food on the table, without working for someone else.
 

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Up here the economy is usually depressed so it is hard to say if it is good or bad signs but here are some of the highlights of the past 6 months:

Radio Shack(2) - CLOSED
Dunhams - CLOSED
J.C. Penney - CLOSED
Rumors of Lowe's and Best Buy closing.
Iron Ore Mine laying off 350 workers from this June thru October.
Dairy Queen - OPENING this August

Wal Mart has been much slower while Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar General have been much busier.
 

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When Obama got elected....
LOL - though I realize both of the major parties have led us down this path...

Cars:
I check out cars -- are people buying/leasing new or fixing up their old beater?

For a while there (early 2000s) in my area it was strange to drive an old car. Seems like now it's strange to have a newer one.
To go along with that Oreilly's auto parts store has gone crazy in growth since the turn down in 09'. If I was sent back in time with out any lotto numbers or other financial data at my disposal I would ride Gold up from 2004 to 2009 - then roll everything into Oreilly's stock. Then swap everything back to Gold before today's date $40 a share to $220 something...
 

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Sales.

I'm in vending. That's a "luxury" at the end of things.

When everyone's packing a lunch, and I don't need to stock, then I worry. I had that during 2009 up to pretty much last year.
 
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