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You've heard of the hemline index - where the length of women's skirts rises or falls according to the economic climate.
But now experts have pinpointed another marker of economic bouyancy - and it's all down to sales of men's pants.
Fashion observers at UK underwear and swimwear site deadgoodundies.com have found that men buy more colourful underwear when the economy is booming, but return to their failsafe white, black and grey when there is a downturn.
Good times: Men feel at liberty to experiment with their pants when the economy is healthy - meaning sales of colourful pants rise, while RIGHT: When times are tough, they stick to classic styles and colours
And now, as they reveal sales of colourful pants are on the rise, experts say it could be a sign the economy is on the road to recovery.
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