Google maps consumer trends

Google is helping market watchers to keep tabs on different sectors of the economy with a new Domestic Trends service.

Google maps consumer trends

The service plots search activity across various sectors – such as the motor industry, computing, finance and air travel – in order to identify seasonal trends and buying patterns.

The Computer and Electronics Index, for example, shows a predictable peak in activity just before Christmas over the past five years, although searches have declined rapidly over the past couple of years, as the recession took hold.

The Google Auto Buyers Index, meanwhile, provides a dramatic illustration of how demand for new cars fell through the floor, before a new US scheme that’s similar to the UK’s car scrappage scheme sent searches spiralling again.

The data also provides a clear snapshot of long-term trends in the different industries. The dramatic effect of the recession on the travel industry can be clearly seen in the Google Air Travel Index, for example, which shows searches for flights dropped off dramatically during the tail end of 2008, but has staged a moderate recovery over the summer of 2009.

Google hopes the data will provide “useful economic insight” into the various sectors, and is allowing people to download the data to spreadsheets for free.

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