Economists will guide you to Singapore’s GDP figures and unemployment figures to tell you when the economy is improving.

I have my own indicators though.

You will know Singapore’s economy is recovering when…

1. …the number of coffee treats to Ya Kun reduces and StarBucks increases

Ya Kun is Singaporean’s cheaper alternative to Starbucks.

A cup of coffee will only cost you about SGD1.20. At Starbucks, a normal coffee will create a deficit in your wallet by about SGD3.80.

However, some will suggest  you go to the nearest KopiTiam (coffee shop in Hokkien) for a SGD0.80 cuppa.

2. … Massage palour ads occupy 2 full pages or more in The New Paper

Singapore daily tabloid, The New Paper, usually feature ads from Massage Palours all over Singapore in their classified sections.

Most male Singaporeans know that these Massage Palours offer “Happy Endings” under covers which costs more than the massage and has to be paid in cash.

At the peak of Singapore economy, there were many such Massage Palours spouting out in over corner in Singapore and advertisements in The New Paper were the best way to get mass attention. The advertisements spread over two full pages, sometimes more, during the peak.

At the current downturn in the economy, the number of ads for these Massage Palours stand at one and a half page of ads and I predict even less if the economy goes south further.

As they say, “no money, no honey”.

3. … A grand dinner is no longer at the local Zhi Char in the kopitiam

Zhi Char stores can be found in the local kopitiam and they usually serve an array of a-la-carte dishes, ranging from simple fried rice to a more sophisticated fish head steamboat.

The cost of these dishes can cost about 1/5 to 1/2 of the bill at a local Chinese restaurant.  

You don’t get air-condition at the Zhi Char place, but you might get free football on the 42” LCDs at the kopitiam.

What are your own indicators to show that your country’s economy is improving? Please share them in the comments below.

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