The economy as a whole might be slow, but the Ruby on Rails sector of the tech economy seems to be on fire. One measure is how much money vendors spend on t-shirts at conference like this one.
Back in the late 90s, I remember a relatively small O’Reilly Perl conference where about two dozen different vendors were handing out t-shirts with abandon (Sun was giving handsful of OpenOffice shirts to each person, instead of one shirt at a time). The next year, after the tech bubble burst, not a single free t-shirt.
This year at RailsConf, t-shirts are back. I think there are six vendors giving away shirts, and most of them are pushing them on anyone who even walks near their display, even if they already have a shirt in their hand.
Consider this a leading economic indicator