Things that go up in a down economy FEB 03 2009
Marginal Revolution has been posting an ongoing series of posts on countercyclical assets: things are doing well even though the economy as a whole is struggling. The latest example is that shoe repair shops are doing a booming business. One Florida cobbler's repair volume is up 50%.
Some other examples are increasing activity on Second Life, cocoa futures, unusual pets, gold coins and wine, evangelical churches, tasers, high end prostitutes, beer, and household safes. Sounds like a hell of a party.
My own countercyclical hunch is that Internet use will rise dramatically over the year because a) it has become something that people need (even more than TV...you'll see people scaling back on cable before they send back their cable modem) and b) spending more time using it doesn't cost extra. Plus, unemployment = lots of time to spend online screwing around "updating your resume".