The noise is almost deafening — recession is all but upon us. Look at the chart below. The "buzz" (number of search queries) is way up. The first jitter occurred about a year ago. The news headline of the day said that according to economists, a recession was unlikely. Click on the chart to access the (most recent) chart and mull over the morphing newscape.


And then, consider this: actual data on the US GDP, available here from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. For convenience I have computed the average annual GDP growth rate in constant USD (2000). (warning : the time scales of the two charts are different. The BEA data covers the 1947-2007 time period)


Is the buzz picking up early signs of a weakening economy? (such as the credit crunch). Is the buzz feeding on itself to ultimately yield a self-fulfilling prophecy? (by affecting consumer/investor confidence). Could the buzz be just that — buzz?