Does Uncertainty Have A Seasonality?

Uncertainty: US Trends

Charts via Google Trends


A few final thoughts on the Uncertainty trope:

On a hunch, I took a look at Google Trends to see if I could discern any sort of cyclical or seasonal patterns in the mention of Uncertainty in the media and via Web searches.

There are two obvious issues, including a seasonal pattern that is unmistakeable. These are more pronounced in the US than overseas (Global trend chart is after the jump).

First off, the volume of the word Uncertainty shows up in press reports and the media increasingly since 2008. The recession, credit crisis, and market collapse drive lots of interest in the idea of Uncertainty. I term it a rationalization for that reason.

Secondly, the seasonal pattern is unmistakeable: It starts high in the beginning of the year, as media outlets trot out their year in preview pieces: What will 2013 bring? Its uncertain, but here are a few ideas…”

The incidences hit their annual nadir over the summer. The summer is fun time  — schools out, families vacation and travel, Europe practically closes down. The fun & sun or latest bikini articles are de riguer, with little time for Uncertainty.

The charts ramp up to a distinct peak in October/November, when state, local and federal elections are occurring. In a fairly evenly divided country, there is surely uncertainty about election contests.

Then each year, the charts bottom around the holidays. While you may not know what you are getting for Christmas, its not the sort of thing people search for on Google.


Hopefully, this will be the last of my Uncertainty discussions for some time. However, I am unsure if that will be the case. Given this, I better not make any investments or hire anyone until this confusion gets resolved, regardless of demand . . .


Kiss Your Assets Goodbye When Certainty Reigns (Nov 9, 2010)

Revisiting the Uncertainty Trope  (June 27th, 2012)


Uncertainty: Global Trends

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