These are not good signs. I can’t even remember the last flight I was on that wasn’t completely full, and I’m not one of those road warriors who belongs to all the travel rewards clubs and knows all the tricks; these were random perks.
Another troubling sign: the most direct path between my office and Grand Central takes me through Rockefeller Plaza every morning and evening, except for the period from roughly November 15 until January 15, when the crush of tourists visiting New York makes walking through the Plaza in the evenings impossible; I have to swing north and go cross-town on 51st Street over to Madison. But not this year. I’m still cutting through the Plaza because there are far fewer tourists – especially from abroad.
So it’s not just car sales and home prices that are down big. People are staying home in droves.