Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

Sentiment, Google trends and long-run commodity markets

Some links for today:

Sentiment in Ireland

Consumer confidence is like a pet eel – even just knowing what it’s up to at any one point is a challenge, let alone controlling it. The ESRI’s latest measure of confidence is out here, and a good discussion of why it is the way it is is here, on Gerard O’Neill’s blog.

Google Trends

A man after my own heart, Kevin Denny presents a sort of Google-Phillips curve, a nice visualization of inflation versus unemployment based on Google searches and news. Two interesting things: (1) inflation has always been more of a worry for news outlets, until this year, while (2) for individuals, unemployment has always been searched more, a trend that’s become even more accentuated this year.

I decided to have a look myself at Google Trends, and a comparison of inflation and deflation seems to reveal deflation as a late 2008 scare which has faded away, rather than a 2009 one, which surprises me. On the same topic, Martin Ryan, also of the Geary Institute, explores the idea of analysing Google Trends data a little more here, based on the original source, a Google blog post by Hal Varian and Hyunyoung Choi, inviting economic researchers to get down and dirty with the Google Trends data themselves – an offer I hope to take up!

Commodity market integration

Over in the IIIS in Trinity, they’ve recently published some research on how deglobalization – currently a threat – can negatively impact consumers, as commodity markets disintegrate. The paper is available here. If that sounds terribly short-run, you can a 300-year perspective on the same topic, also involving Kevin O’Rourke, here.

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