Sentence has been made for the next four years, following the Government scrutinising its spending. Laid out with little evidence, like a cadaver in a crime drama waiting for the inventive pathologist to make the seemingly impossible possible;  Spending Review. If only the financial crisis had DNA then the culprits could be nailed, but instead, we’ve been left with a scene worthy of truer realistic crime, well covered tracks, insufficient evidence to make a conviction of likely suspects and an unpleasant environment.

With the economy still on a knife-edge there are plenty out there with a full gamut of opinions about the cuts, so on this occasion we’re stepping aside and giving thought instead to indicators, or clues, as to what is happening to everyday spending and the `missing’ economy.

Balance of Payments,  Consumer Price Index,  Retail Price Index,  House Prices, Employment Figures, Spending on Construction,  National Statistics,  Bank Statistics, Forecasts and Surveys  all have their role to illustrate when, and what, spending or savings are up or down.  But there is nothing, not the increased sales in the area of grow your own, pick your own or make your own, not the increased sales in books, cinema or theatre tickets, not even the reduction in sales for sun cream compared to increase in sales for windbreaks.  No, there is nothing better than the official indicator of all things economic – the Handbag.  Accessible to all, this is a method which requires no previous training or qualifications; although some experience in people watching could be useful. While big businesses are buying out struggling smaller names, and mergers and acquisitions happen, the rest of the world keeps turning, along with the eternal need for some form of everyday bag to fill with a cornucopia of choice  – and what better example than the handbag because Bag Indicators are all about the bag, not the contents. Contents  have only an element of economic affect.

There is an ironic twist for the consumer, which has added a new element to this type of purchasing power-pointer.  Although difficult to detect copycat bags from afar, when a market becomes saturated in copies the originals are no longer wanted by those who would usually buy them, additionally for the plagiarised lesser brands it hasn’t been unknown for these to be sold for more than the original lesser brand price thus duping the buyer trying to outwit the market.  As some consumers come from the school of `if you’ve got it flaunt it’, others only want to be identified by their luxury items, some will asset-buy to hedge against price rises and some will prefer to take their chances and turn to the pirate market or have a copy design. This guide to the economy, if nothing else, is a welcome relief from the usual charts and isn’t entirely gender specific.

Self-indulgent or self-perpetuating, will it be  the Devil wearing Prada or a Deal with the Devil?

(Image credit: stella!!   Article credit: Copyright SUF)