Halloween Haul: How the economy's doing, by neighborhood, by candy bar

Halloween, Trick or treating
Halloween, Trick or treating

Look no further than your kids' Halloween pail for proof that the recession can be hyper-localized. In some parts of the country, our kids Halloween'ed like it was 1999 (apologies to Prince) and elsewhere the pickings were slim. While we WalletPoppers provide no science behind our observations here, we do offer this post-Halloween analysis for how the treats flew on the holiday that has become the preamble to the biggest shopping season of the year. And the short answer: It depends on where you live.

Just like real estate and jobs, the abundance of Snickers and Almond Joy bars seem to have followed the recession's wave. Perhaps there's no surprise that the candy corn flowed less liberally when the latest Commerce Department data shows personal incomes dropped in September and consumer spending rose less than what was predicted. Places hit with high foreclosures and high unemployment tended to be light on giving out the loot. Other places, perhaps affected less or perhaps determined to beat back the economic doldrums with some fun just once more, were doling out the full-sized M&Ms with abandon.