Attention, Sinners: US 'Vice Index' Is a Little Low

Which is actually bad news for consumer spending, says analyst

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 6, 2013 2:48 PM CST

(Newser) – Brace yourself: Things are about to get tame. So says the vice index, which tracks spending on booze, gambling, and prostitutes: Its September reading was 104, the lowest it's been since February, the Wall Street Journal reports. The bad news may stretch beyond the realm of sin: It's a predictor of consumer spending four months in the future, says Andrew Zatlin of SouthBay Research, who developed the system. "It’s signaling that consumer spending growth is about to drop and stay subdued for a few months," notes the analyst, who's keeping quiet about just where he gets these numbers. That's not exactly great news for the holiday season.

The 'vice index' has hit a 17-year low.
The 'vice index' has hit a 17-year low.   (Shutterstock)
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