The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting that Elvis is back in the building – and economists suggest it may be a sign of better economic times ahead.

Elvis is a dipstick, of sorts, for our economy,” Doo Wop Shop manager Rob Baker said. “The party business is coming back. People are not thinking twice about having an event. They are feeling a bit more relaxed.”

Or, as an economist, Uric Dufrene of Indiana University Southeast, would say: “The increase in Elvis-related consumption items suggests that discretionary spending might be on the upswing.”

Dufrene, a business professor who monitors the local economy, says a case can be made for measuring economic progress based on what he called “the Elvis Index.”

Travis Albertson, an Elvis tribute artist (they don’t like to be called impersonators), said he saw bookings start to return in May, with five or six jobs like birthday parties, weddings and even funerals each month, at about $400 per hour.

And visitors continue to throng to Graceland, Presley’s home in Memphis, Tenn. “Our average annual attendance has always been 600,000 and remains so to this date,” Elvis Presley Enterprises, spokesman Kevin Kern said.

Photo by realbollywood.com.

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