Does a Rise in Cosmetic Surgery Signal Economic Recovery?

New statistics revealed that cosmetic procedures, which includes non-surgical and surgical procedures, were up by 5 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. The data excited more than just the cosmetic surgery industry — some on Wall Street speculate that when cosmetic surgery is on the rise, it could signal the economy on a whole is on the rise as well.

MSN Money noted that the statistics, which were released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, are “yet one more indication that the economy is on the mend.”

Reuters reported that “while nose jobs and breast augmentations may never replace U.S. unemployment data or retail sales as economic indicators, investors pay attention.”

“Traders will look at all kinds of things. Handbag sales, how things are going at Tiffany’s, where people are going on vacation. This is another anecdote for them that helps confirm things are slowly picking up,” said Dennis Gartman, publisher of an investment commentary, referring to the cosmetic surgery statistics.

Even though unemployment is still high, the rise in cosmetic surgery is a sign to some that spending on “big ticket” items is on its way back in this country.

“I like the thinking,” said Carl Larry, publisher of a daily report covering market fundamentals, who said that traders use any piece of data they think can give them an edge. “It could very well be that we’re seeing more ‘off-road’ spending like this. Anything that is a big ticket item that has little to do with homes or retail is where the money seems to be going.”

“The pre-crisis trend of paying for a $6,000 to $7,000 breast augmentation operation on your credit card definitely changed in 2008 and 2009,” plastic surgeon Phil Haeck said. “Now many people have paid down their debts and have enough confidence in the economy to pay for operations again.”

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Dr. Michael J. Will cosmetic surgeon Maryland received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College, his dental degree from Georgetown University and his medical degree from the University of Texas.

He completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Will also completed a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship at the Cosmetic Surgery Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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