The Media Recession Index Turned Up Sharply in December

Are we due for a recession? One barometer is to simply look at how much we’re all chattering about the possibility of a recession. This is normally calculated using media mentions of the word recession, but that’s old school—and I don’t know where to get that data anyway. So instead, here are two other measures of how much we’re all talking about the economy:

The orange line is an index based on the average daily number of uses of the word recession in the Wall Street Journal. The blue line is the Google Trends chart for recession as a percentage of the Google Trends chart for expansion. It crossed the 50 percent mark two weeks ago.

As you can see, there’s been a slight upward trend in both indexes all year, followed by a huge uptick in December. The Journal index increased by 50 percent in December compared to its average over the previous 11 months, while the Google Trends index soared by 150 percent.

Why is this? Is it because we all get bored during the holiday season and invent things to chatter about? Is it because the stock market has been doing so poorly? Is it because Donald Trump has been whining about the Fed so much? Or is it because we really are getting close to a downturn? Wait and see!

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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