A Spike in Use of "Recession" in News Articles

The Economist, which has been tracking the number of articles in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal containing the word "recession," found a sharp increase in mentions since the beginning of September. Since June 2009 the mentions of "recession" in newspaper articles has declined steadily, except for a brief plateau in summer 2010. In early 2009, mentions reached an all-time high with almost 4,500 articles incorporating the word "recession" in the first quarter. Until this September the number had leveled off to a little over 1,000 articles per quarter. Since the beginning of September this number has climbed to almost 1,500 articles.

Although the The Economist's "R-word index" is self-admittedly an "informal" gauge, it accurately showed high levels of mentions before both the 1990 recession and the 2009 recession.

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