Internet search data from Google Trends provide a real-time gauge of global economic sentiment - and the latest data suggest that "recession" searches have picked up sharply worldwide.
- In many cases (notably US, UK) they have risen to levels that have previously indicated an actual concurrent recession (in 2008-09 and early 2020).
- That said, other recession-related searches (such as "unemployment") aren't rising as much. But "inflation" and "stagflation" are at/near all-time highs.
- Perhaps the recent Google "recession" search surge should be interpreted as more of an inflation-related consumer sentiment indicator than a sign of overall economic downturn.
- Also there's something of a divergence between searches spiking in North America/Europe, vs remaining relatively flat in Asia-Pac.
- See link below for full PDF of charts:
Interest Over Time for Google search term "Recession"Source: Google Trends