According to the Washington Post, if you want to tell how the economy is doing look in a man’s underwear drawer. Here’s the theory why: a man’s underwear is a necessity keeping the underwear market stable. However when times get financially hard, most men will make the supply they have last causing sales to dip. NPR reported that if you look at men’s underwear sales it’s pretty much a flat line hardly ever changing but when you look at the areas where it dips it’s because men are so pinched that they have decided not to replace underwear. Referring to the drop in men’s underwear sales, Alan Greenspan said “that is almost always a prescient, forward impression that here comes trouble.” So apparently some men are willing to deprive themselves of new underwear! Obviously these economists haven’t met us. We may need to spread the message about the paradisiacal world of underwear. However this theory has proven to be relevant.

According to the Mintel research firm, men typically purchase 3.4 pairs of underwear a year. Of course for us and our blog readers it may be closer to 34! In 2008 there was a 12% decline in the sales of briefs. The underwear began to fall to our knees! The first quarter of 2009 had a decline of 6%, and the final quarter a decline of 4%. And 2010 has had a prediction of a 2.3% decrease in briefs sales. However, there has been a nice silver microfiber lining to the falling briefs. The decline has been getting smaller. But Mintel doesn’t predict an increase until 2013! It may be time to buy some of your hard hit men some undies for Valentines Day.

We at Underwear News Briefs, and you our readers, would NEVER skimp on buying underwear but it’s nice to know the economic world is watching our valued assets. This is finally a startling study on the recession I can understand. I may have to consider a career in economics!


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