Zeitgeist analysis, 5 April 2009

Analysis of the economics blog word cloud:

Of course one of the biggest risers this week is G20, up at least 700 places to 199 (it was not on last week's list at all). Related terms are also up: Obama up 25 to 65, summit a new entry at 563 and London new at 591. World is up 17 to number 14, and leaders up over 300 places to 506. IMF rises 189 to 439. But these are not as dominant as they could be - indeed I didn't see the number of postings about the G20 that I might have expected.

My apologies to the other leaders, but Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel appear nowhere. Nor do Aso, Medvedev or Jintao. Some of their countries do make a decent showing, with Germany newly entering the list at 512, Russia at 686 and Japan up 729 places to 153 - but UK is down a hundred places and China five places, while France is not there at all.

At the top of the list, one and new have swapped places with new now at the top and one in second position. US and government are rising again to positions 3 and 4 with financial and market down to 5 and 6. Economic is up five to 8, and price up six to 10.

I was surprised that trillion and billion are both down a few places, with million up 38 to number 44. Thousand isn't listed at all. In a good demonstration of Benford's Law, the digits are ranked in almost exactly the right order (one, two, three, five, four, six, seven, zero, eight, nine - though two is filtered out by my common-word checker and everything from seven downwards is too scarce to be included in the main rankings. One and three are the only ones you'll see in the word cloud).

Rising in general: Manufacturing newly entered at 200, output at 253 and contraction at 358. GM is the company of the week, in at 399 to replace AIG. Savings are up but so is bankruptcy. Europe and EU are up (but Washington and Congress down) and confidence up too (but so is negative unfortunately). Oil and energy are hot this week, with assets less so and toxic way down.

Declining: AIG down 558 places to 694, hope down 276 to 707, bonuses down 371 to 796 and bailout down 325 to 864. Buying, selling and exchange are all down, along with dollar, monetary, Wall and Street and banking.

Positive news of the week: demand is up hugely (jumping 75 places to number 59) while supply is down 60 to 324. So there should be less capacity (which has dropped out of the list), more inflation (up 79 to 128). The theory slightly breaks down with deflation, which has entered the list this week, though only in around 500th place.

Predictions for what next week's hot topics will be? Post in the comments please.


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