Based on Ken’s UEI (Ultimate Economic Indicator), maybe the economy is improving..

It has been 10 days since I placed a “free shipping” order with Amazon.

Why is that important”

There are a lot of indicators bandied about to ‘prove’ how well or poorly the economy is doing.

There’s GDP, unemployment, CPI, and many, many other metrics.

Sometimes they provide a consistent view of the economy … sometimes they contradict.


Well, I’ve stumbled on the Ultimate Economic Indicator. An indisputable measure of economic activity …

Ken’s UEI: the number of days that it takes a “ships free” order from Amazon to arrive at my door.


Here’s the logic: When placing an order, Amazon projects that  a “ship free” item will be delivered in 7 to 10 days.


Since I’m a cheapskate, I’ll always take the free shipping option and trade-off fast delivery for free shipping.

Then I started to notice that when the economy  is doing well, the shipments do take a week or so.

But, when business is slow, the shipments arrive 2 days after the order is placed.

Makes sense, since the ship free packages are – in essence – flying standby.

When the economy is steaming, planes and trucks are full and standby packages may hang on the shipping dock for a couple of days.

When business is slow, there’s plenty of space on the planes and trucks, so the standbys catch the first flight.

These days, the press is a steadily improving economy.

But, I’m getting my ships free stuff the day after tomorrow.

Tells me that business is still slow.

Well, it has been 10 days and my order hasn’t arrived.

Either (1) Amazon is really trying to sign-ups for revenue producing Amazon Prime, or (2) the economy is improving.

My bet’s on the former … getting cheap folks like me onto Amazon Prime.

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2 Responses to “Based on Ken’s UEI (Ultimate Economic Indicator), maybe the economy is improving..”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hmmm. Couldn’t faster delivery also indicate more efficient service by USPS/UPS, or by Amazon’s warehouse operations?

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