A Recession May Not Be Imminent, if People’s Google Searches Are Any Indication

July 25, 2019

While economists continue to discuss the possibility of an impending recession, Americans’ internet searches suggest it may still be a ways off. Analytics group DataTrek examined internet searches and found that the searches don’t line up with those preceding previous recessions.

Searches for terms like “unemployment” and “coupon” generally increase in the lead up to periods of economic turmoil, and could have served as an early warning in the years before the 2008 crisis. Starting in 2005, Google searches for “unemployment” began increasing by more than 5 percent year over year. Searches for the term in June 2019 were about the same as the year before. Searches for “coupon” shot up 45 percent in 2008, and peaked in 2011, when they were 200 percent higher than in 2005. Searches for the term have declined every year since, and were 7 percent lower in June 2019 than the year before.

Read all Blog posts