Obscure Economic Indicators

Slate has a great but infrequent series which features obscure economic indicators, like the number of shipping containers in L.A., or regional parking rates. (I posted another favorite last year, about how the number of Harvard B-School grads on Wall Street indicates that the stock market will do poorly).

A quick search turns up a similar story in Inc Magazine a few years ago; their examples are not as good, but they do quote the famous Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.

A friend who went to a data mining conference last week mentioned that someone there had done some work indicating that the frequency of blog postings can be correlated to the unemployment rate. The last number he came up with was within .3% of the Fed’s number, and he had it 6 weeks before the Fed released theirs.