"There is an old saying among economists that the best way to assess the state of the economy is to look at people's underwear.
OK, there's no such saying. But when he served as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan did use the sales of male underpants as a way to take the temperature of the country's economic well being. And if the Maestro were to take a peek right now, he'd find evidence that things are gradually improving.
The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, has shown an uptick in sales of men's underwear over the past year. Between Aug. 2010 and Aug. 2011, sales for all men's "underwear bottoms" were roughly $2.074 billion. In the period between Aug. 2011 and Aug. 2012, that number was $2.194 billion. That represents a 6 percent jump in sales from year to year.
Looking closer at the data, specific undergarment companies are flourishing in the current economy. HanesBrands Inc., for example, has seen underwear sales increase steadily over the past three years, climbing from $1.83 billion in 2009 to $2.01 billion in 2010 to $2.06 billion in 2011, according to SEC files. Sales for the first half of 2012 -- the most recent available data -- are also stronger, coming in at $1.17 billion, compared to $1.15 billion in the first half of 2011." Full story here!
Photo: Greg Plitt -Many more hot photos of him here!