By a delicious coincidence, reports that crowds were thronging the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent last weekend after it had banned 'hoodies' arrived alongside news that retail sales perked up in April when everybody thought they were crumbling.
Bluewater's claim that it attracted 22 per cent more shoppers in the same weekend last year is eye-catching, after all this is Britain's biggest concentration of shops.
It would be attractive to deduce that our consumer malaise is just mass terror of being in the same place as sinister looking youths who dress so that they all look the same to a security camera.
Forget the debt-ridden society, the flagging housing market - or the dreaded possibility that the British have found a jollier way to pass the time - the shoppers come pouring back the instant they are assured of a hoodie-free environment.
Life is rarely that easy. Several other shopping centres have never let in 'hoodies' - shopkeepers don't care for them - and their sales are much the same as the rest. The prosaic truth is that Bluewater got its ban on television news. It was a colossal free ad that worked.
Still, last month's recovery in retail sales could mark the end of the long slide that began in December when a sufficient number of shoppers opted to leave their Christmas shopping for the January sales.
Then their January purchases accounted for only two-thirds of those they didn't make in December.
Seasonally adjusted, the numbers just trickled on down. Until April. They can still go up as well as down. Yet nobody can quite believe it.
Yesterday, National Statistics went on about what feeble growth this was - the lowest for household goods since 1993, during the negativeequity disaster.
But it is still growth, year on year. Comparing the latest three months with February to April last year there was a row of pluses right across National Statistics' table, broken by a single minus 0.8 per cent for a category called "other shops".
More interesting is a 7.7 per cent gain by "non-store retailing". Internet shopping is finally coming into its own - or armies of nervous ladies have returned to their mail order catalogues rather than take their chance with 'hoodies'.