Historically Dec. 15 is the busiest day of the year for FedEx, the day they ship more packages in 24 hours than during any other day of the year. This is slightly surprising in a couple of respects: 1. It shows that Christmas-celebrating Americans are way more on top of their games than one might suspect, getting their goods off a full 10 days before the big show. And 2. We are already halfway through Hanukkah, so some poor kid is probably wondering where his Zhu Zhu Pet, (Not Safe For Quiet Workplaces, NSFQW), is right about now.
This morning on American Public Media's Marketplace report a FedEx manager stationed in Glendale, Calif., said that there will be a considerable jump up in the number of packages FedEx will mail this ides of December versus last year, to the tune of 14 million up from 12 million. If you are looking for unusual economic indicators pointing toward a rosier financial future, you could do a lot worse than that. (May we suggest this one, for instance.)
The madness that is crazy mailing day for FedEx comes, of course, with a slight trickling effect. The Memphis-based company has had to bump up the size of its staff — by about a 40 percent increase — to deal with all those additional deliveries, which means more people are receiving paychecks, which means more people are out there buying, well, Zhu Zhu Pets, mostly. The increased consumer spending allows more businesses to hire more people and the whole lovely cycle continues apace. That's the idea, anyway.
So perhaps George Bush was not so far off in 2001 when he implored Americans to do their patriotic duty and hit the mall. What he should have added, we can now see, is that after you go shopping, don't forget to mail at least part of your haul.