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Crisis Takes Toll On Economic Indicator

There are many ways to judge the severity of the recession. You can look at unemployment, GDP, corporate bankruptcies, consumer spending, housing prices, and probably a hundred more pieces of economic data. But perhaps there is no greater indicator that what happened over the past couple of years was a bit more than a minor hiccup than when part of a highly regarded economic data set is phased out of existence. It's happening soon and measuring the strength of the recovery will be even more difficult now.

The Big Mac Index is losing one of its data points as McDonald's is fleeing Iceland in the wake of the krona's collapse.

McDonald's in Iceland, which imports most of the ingredients it uses in its meals, will shut after costs doubled over the past year, (McDonald's franchise holder) Lyst said in an e-mailed statement today. The franchise holder said it doesn't expect the situation to change in the short term.

While the declaration of an end to the global recession will now be on shakier ground due to the Icelandic hamburger shutdown, one last data point was left behind for posterity.

At $6.36 per Big Mac, Iceland can take at least a little comfort knowing that it's going out on top.
McDonald's Closes in Iceland After Krona Collapse [Bloomberg]