What’s the world saying about the economy?

16th July 2020

No one knows much about where the economy is going to end up. But what are people thinking about it? 

Aggregating public opinion might offer us some glimpse of ‘the wisdom of crowds’, or it might prove that no one knows where things are going right now. Either way, it allows us to tap into the sentiments and opinions that guide consumer intent and confidence.

Using Pulsar TRENDS, we can discover that:

1. Personal finances remain a big concern


The spread of the pandemic, and subsequent lockdown, saw a very pronounced spike in posts that contained the phrase “can’t pay”. So far, so expected. What we’re witnessing now, however, is a subsequent increase as lockdowns lift. Are the full economic consequences of the pandemic beginning to emerge?


2. We’re in a recession. No, a depression. No…


Initially, the consensus was that we undergoing a global recession. But the longer we stayed in lockdown, the more people began to talk of an economic depression instead.

On June 8th, there was a massive increase in mentions of the former, in response to the official declaration in the US that the nation was presently experiencing a recession. Outside of that one peak though, conversation is skewing in favour of the more catastrophic outcome.


3. The latter half of lockdown has seen an uptick in optimism.


You can find bad news on the economy around every corner at present. But it’s not in the nature of people to take such setbacks passively. Instead, there has been an increase in posts that make reference to ‘build’ or ‘building since late May.

This also brings in some of the conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement, of course, as business owners and campaigners alike set out their visions to ‘build’ a #NewNormal we can all feel proud of.

Airbnb, Microsoft and IBM are just several of the companies founded during recessions. Can we expect to add to that list during 2020?