Check the locker room at your local gym for economic impacts of the war

Russia’s immoral invasion of Ukraine is pushing many economic forecasts downward.

Some Slovak carmakers, including Nitra-based Jaguar Land Rover, were forced to suspend production.Some Slovak carmakers, including Nitra-based Jaguar Land Rover, were forced to suspend production. (Source: AP/TASR)

Just as the global economy began to recover from the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine has created new uncertainty. As petrol prices rise and supply chains slow down again, many worry about our collective economic health.

Though I am hesitant to conduct the research myself, the men’s locker room at your local gym might be a good place to figure out what comes next.

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Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve (the American central bank), used to famously monitor sales of men’s underwear to forecast recessions. As the theory goes, men don’t care much about how their underwear looks. So when the economy slows and money gets tight, it’s one of the first places they start to cut spending.

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