Friday, July 20, 2012

From Eurozone to US "fiscal cliff" - a shift in sentiment

Google Insights for Search continues to be a good tool to track trends in issues that concern the public. Here are two key recent trends:

1. The number of searches for the term "euro" spiked in June but had since declined.

Google Insights for Search trend for the term "euro"

2. The term "fiscal cliff" (discussed here) on the other hand certainly caught the public's attention recently.

Google Insights for Search trend for the term "fiscal cliff"

Other similar search terms that show a "breakout" (spike) in search are:

1. "fiscal cliff 2013"
2. "fiscal cliff definition"
3. "the fiscal cliff
4. "us fiscal cliff"

This demonstrates a clear shift from concerns over the Eurozone crisis toward the situation in the US. And US-based issues will have a larger impact on the US economy. This new uncertainty over the fiscal cliff's impact may already be feeding through into consumer confidence (chart below).

U Michigan Consumer Confidence

And analysts are now seeing this shift feed through into the US corporate sector.
Washington Post: - For much of the year, economists worried about the impact of the slowdown in Europe on the U.S. economy. Now, analysts say anxiety about the impact of the fast-approaching fiscal cliff — the series of federal spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect at the beginning of 2013 if Congress and the Obama administration do not act — is displacing Europe as the primary threat to the nation’s sputtering economy.

Morgan Stanley said this week that concerns about the fiscal cliff are reaching new heights across a wide range of industries. It is already seeing reductions in business orders and hiring, among other areas.

“While our analysts are somewhat less worried about the impact of European bank strains,” a Morgan Stanley report said Monday, “the negative impact of fiscal cliff uncertainty is becoming more widespread.”


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