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Cheddar Biscuits Economic Indicator

While there are many ways in which pundits are gauging economic recovery, some light can be shed from the Red Lobster's tasty cheddar biscuits.

What’s the Latest Development?

With the looming election, many people are finding it important to know how the economy is doing and if it’s turned around since the market collapse of 2007. Darden Restaurants, the company that heads such chains as Red Lobster—with its famous cheddar biscuits—and Olive Garden, has reported positive figures for the quarter as well as for the year, up 4.8 percent from the quarter a year ago. “Buried inside those numbers, and in the longer-term trends of which they are part, are some lessons for where the U.S. economy is going.”

What’s the Big Idea?

The “good news,” depending on who you’re planning on voting for, is that indicators like this are representative of a better economy. But, increased sales and increased job numbers don’t tell the whole story. Because of some of the ongoing economic uncertainty and high unemployment numbers, these increases in profit aren’t necessarily going to the workers. “High unemployment means that workers at Darden don’t have the negotiating leverage to demand big raises; there is always another jobless worker around to take their job.”

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