The Noodle/Car Matrix…

We all know that noodles are important in China.

But did you know that the government use the volume of instant noodle sales to measure how well the economy is doing?

They use something I like to call “the noodle/car matrix” (not to be confused with the crazy/hot matrix on YouTube) to estimate whether the economy is growing or shrinking.

Instant noodles are cheap, quick and usually purchased by the middle class when they can’t afford to spend on tastier higher-end food options.

When the sale of instant noodles goes up, the economy is usually going down.

But they don’t rely on noodle metrics alone.

Of course not. The Chinese are smarter than that.

The other end of the matrix is car sales.

Cars are not considered as essential in China as they are in the west. More of a luxury.

If the people are buying cars then it’s a good sign that they have some cash to spare.

So cross-reference these together and you get an idea of how the economy is doing.

If noodle sales are going up and car sales down, it’s a sign that people are struggling. If car sales go up and noodles go down, then the economy is probably growing.

Who knew that noodles were an accurate way to measure growth? I bet there’s some other crazy measures around the world too. If you know of any I’d love to hear about them!