Searches for the term ‘double dip recession have shot up in the past two weeks

A double-dip recession is back on the minds of Web denizens.

Google searches for “double dip recession” have shot up in the past two weeks. “In the first two weeks of June the number of Google searches for ‘double dip recession’ by Americans has surged back towards the levels seen when such concerns were rife this time last year,” notes Paul Dales of Capital Economics. He suspects, as was the case in 2010 when the trend last appeared, it will prove temporary.

Though there are arguments for and against Google as an indicator, the rise in searches for “double dip recession” is just the latest in a host of datapoints indicating a growing gloom among consumers. Earlier today, a Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed a drop in consumer sentiment, following on the heels of more pessimistic outlooks from homebuilders and both small and large businesses.

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Much of the pessimism is being driven by what the Federal Reserve and most economists expect is a temporary economic slowdown and factors such as the recent run of high gas prices that are already beginning to fade. But even if the slowdown is transitory, there’s plenty to weigh on the minds of consumers.

“It is quite clear that households are not very happy,” said Mr. Dales. “With the unemployment rate still very high, real income growth very low and both equity and house prices falling once again, who can blame them? That’s all before policymakers have taken steps to close the budget deficit by raising taxes and/or cutting government spending.”



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