For me, the best economic indicator to see how well Malaysia are doing economically is by looking at the price of the fast food and the junk food that I usually eat. This has been my personal indicator for years. Before 2005, the price of magazine was also an indicator for me but when they discontinue the Premiere magazine, I don't buy any other foreign magazine which cost a bomb like it. Premiere magazine had been a personal favourite since it was sold for RM10.90 in 1990 then became RM27.90 then finally RM32.00 before it finally die a natural death in 2006. Just right after X-Men 3 was released.
One of the last Premiere that I have
Now, for me to see, how well or how bad Malaysia have it, either in good times or bad times, either when it's we are faced with recession or the economy is so good that all investments have to take account of infaltion, the indicators will always be how much price I have to pay for a Big Mac or how much I have to pay for my favourite snack Like Twisties. Nowadays, you pay the McValue meal at the price of nearly RM10.00 whilst in 1990s when McDonalds was fairly new, the value meal was just nearing RM5.00. Yeah, guy, you don't have to explain the work of inflation to me. Or if you have been deceived by my RM56,000-00 bungalow post which made my day as it was when my blog was the most visited by Malaysian blog-owners.
It is just that by looking at the going rate of something as simple as a McDonald McValue Meal (or whatever it's call in your part of the world) where you get a fries and a drink with your either Filet, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder or your cheeseburger, you will know that inflation has crept up and the value of your money is not what it was maybe a year before. As for the junk food, it is the same. A packet of Twisties in 1980s when I was still a kid was just RM0.90 for a big packet which would have satisfied a kid. Now, it is nearing RM4.00 for a smaller packet which past for a big one. Of course, it's the old snake oil merchant trick where you sell something in smaller portion for a higher price.
Of course, in 1980s, Malaysia was said to be 20 years behind USA as we can only dream of eating MickeyDees then but now the Golden Arches (which is not even 100% owned by Americans anymore in Malaysia) is everywhere. And of course, looking at the bigger picture, we can see what development has meant for Malaysia with us being a more prosperous country than some of our neighbour (keyword here : some)
This is my personal indicators. What is yours?