Looking for confirmation that nascent US economic recovery is for real? Watch breakfast sales at the Golden Arches. McDonald’s officials suggest that sales of items during breakfast and late night dayparts—to use the McDonald’s jargon for “mealtimes”—often presage economic strength. Speaking at an investment conference geared towards consumer-sector companies earlier this month, McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson elaborated:
This year you’ll see additional energy at breakfast as I mentioned. Also if the economy does improve, breakfast is one of those dayparts, breakfast or late night are the kind of dayparts where we typically will see it first. So, we’re optimistic once again that hopefully some of the trends that we are seeing will continue from an overall macroeconomic perspective.
Translation: Keep your eyes on the line at McDonald’s drive-thru windows on your morning commute for a real-time read on the economy.
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