Economics, U.S. Economy

Stunning Google Trends chart shows growing sense of malaise in America

Back in 2009, White House economist Larry Summers said he felt better about the U.S. economy since Google searches on “economic depression” had declined sharply.

Since he’s a pretty smart guy, I thought I would try the same approach in gauging the trend in American economic optimism.  Or, rather, economic pessimism.

I ran a Google Trends search on “malaise,” the word that came to evoke the dismal 1970s and the economic failures of the Carter administration. As you can see from the above chart, searches on “malaise” are on the rise—and that is probably not counting today’s dismal jobs report.

2 thoughts on “Stunning Google Trends chart shows growing sense of malaise in America

  1. But the trend for “Euphoria” is also increasing, then may be “Malaise” is statistically insignificant! (However, trend for “Ecstasy” is decreasing – showing lesser drug haul rather than lack of joy!)

  2. 1) If only I knew you better, then I could be certain that your sense of humor is as advanced as your vocabulary.

    Malaise? What percentage of the electorate even knows what that means, let alone uses it in Google searches?

    2) I would hope that a think tank would know better than to publish a graph without a Y axis. For all your readers know, the chart measure an increase from 5 to 10.

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