Leading article: Rising trend

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As we emerge from the global recession, the Government is always eager to pounce on any indicator that shows the economy is on the mend. There are many to choose from – growth, inflation, exports, employment among them – but these have all proved disappointingly limp in recent months.

To discover evidence of the green shoots of recovery perhaps it is time to study a less traditional metric which is showing some pleasingly vigorous growth.

Big Hair is back. Newspapers and magazines are currently filled with photographs of female celebrities – Cheryl Cole and Sarah Jessica Parker in the vanguard – with vertiginous bouffant hairdos.

Skirt length has often been observed as a predictor of stock market prices – hem lines and bear markets always seem to rise together – so the trend for Big Hair seems to be associated with rising consumer confidence, as well as the Big Bang Eighties. Perhaps Samantha Cameron should get some hairspray and start back-combing now.

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