Under the belt index

Originally written in 2019…

A noble soul made me aware about this index denoting an economic slowdown and and I am thankful for this addition to my knowledge.

Like all things men, this is simply called as the ‘Men’s underwear Index’, an index with no gaudy frills. It is theorised that tracking this index is a good indicator of the state of economy of a country.

Every problem related to below the belt matters of the Indian male is simply known as ‘Gupt Rog’. They will try to find solutions to their Rog in all secrecy so that nobody else, especially the fellow males, get any inkling of it.

Similarly, the Index is not much talked about except in the inner recesses of economic circles. For eg. I had never known about this index, as IIP Index was more commonly used. So this was the Gupt Gyan of the economic circles.

To think that a man called Alan Greenspan thought about it, way back in the 70’s. He theorised that a slowdown in the sales of men’s briefs can be very revealing. I had always thought that not wearing any briefs is revealing but how wrong was I.

To enhance the knowledge of the commoners, the innerwear sales growth fell sharply in the first quarter of this year and this proportionately reflects on the state of the economy. The buying of briefs comes under the discretionary spend head, and this has fallen.

The sale of the bottom covering briefs has touched the rock bottom and no one is happy.

All the main brief manufacturers are going through hard times with their sales falling, the weakest performance in a decade. Perhaps they need performance enhancing drugs, a power booster, an aphrodisiac, to bring them back on track.

All this is an indication of poor state of economy. The primary reason is that the disposable income of Indian consumers is shrinking.

The knowledgeable people dealing in economics say, “The primary reason for the drop is rural distress, and the ailing health of financial institutions. The unemployment rate is also very high. All these factors have led to a decrease in expenditure at the consumer level. Availability of funds also slowed down at the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) level as well.”

But I have a simple reason. The economic downturn has resulted in more Indian males being forced to stay at home. And when at home the Indian male doesn’t like being unencumbered by the tight elastic, thus increasing the life cycle of his briefs resulting in delayed buying.

This is his brief contribution to bringing the economy back on track.

Yatindra Tawde

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