Agoracom Blog

Google Trends Shows Washington Is Worried About A Recession – Even If They Say They Aren’t.

Posted by AGORACOM at 9:22 PM on Thursday, November 15th, 2007

(Click On The Image At Any Time To See A Clearer Version)

If actions speak louder than words, then the search actions of Washington are speaking several decibels above the party line “don’t worry be happy”. Specifically, using Google Trends, I compared the 2007 trends of two specific search terms (which are graphically displayed above):

  • Recession (Blue Line)
  • Gold Price (Orange Line)

I ran the trend for searches strictly taking place in the United States. The results clearly tell us two things:

First, fear of a recession amongst Americans is clearly rising – and rising fast. After calming down in July, “recession” has rapidly become a matter on the minds of Americans. You don’t search for recession unless you are worried about it, so clearly Americans are worried.

On that note, look at the hockey stick growth in searches for gold price. After remaining relatively flat for the entire year, it took off beginning in September. You can argue this is strictly a function of the higher price of gold but gold has made several moves in the past year without little more than a blip in increased searches. Why now?

Second, when you look at the cities most responsible for these searches, Washington ranks #1. Here is what is even more telling, when looking at these searches by region, 3 of the top 5 regions are:

  1. District of Columbia (DC) #1
  2. Maryland #2
  3. Virginia #5

Unless these regions have become the financial powerhouses of the country, it is clear as day that the US government (politicians, aides, committees, etc.) have rapidly become interested in both a recession and the price of gold.

Conclusion – The US government is telling us not to worry, then heading back to their computers and singing searching a different tune.

Actions speak louder than words.


p.s. You have to love the power of the web and it’s ability to pull powerful data that was once never thought possible. In this case, Google trends pretty much gives us the ability to sit behind the closed doors of Washington and find out what they’re actually thinking. Scary – but sweet!

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