The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY has faced selling pressure for most of 2022 on continued supply-chain constraints, lingering COVID-19 lockdowns in China and rising inflation concerns. As the Federal Reserve continues to aggressively fight inflation, search data suggests investors are increasingly anticipating an economic slowdown.
What To Know: Searches for the term "recession" in the U.S. are up 355% in 2022, according to Google Trends data compiled by Cinch Home Services. "Upcoming recession" searches have jumped 247% over the past year, while "housing recession" searches soared 461%.
Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Google Trends platform shows data points that represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart. A value of 100 represents the time of peak popularity for the term. A value of 50, for example, indicates that the term is half as popular at the selected time.
March 2020 previously represented the peak for "recession" searches before the significant surge this year. Relative to the new 2022 peak, 2020 has a value of 64 and 2008 has a value of 51, meaning searches for "recession" in 2008 were only about half as frequent as current search trends.
Why It Matters: Just last week, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate by 0.75% for the third straight time and indicated it would continue to hike well above the current level.
The Fed has now raised rates by a total of 3% in 2022, but the latest Consumer Price Index reading of 8.3% shows inflation is still hovering around the highest levels seen in more than 40 years.
In a press conference following the decision on rates, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the central bank's commitment to bringing inflation back down to its 2% goal.
"Restoring price stability is essential to set the stage for achieving maximum employment and stable prices over the longer run. We will keep at it until we're confident the job is done," Powell said.
SPY Price Action: The SPY was up 1.96% at $370.51 Wednesday afternoon, according to Benzinga Pro.
Photo: Mike Lawrence from Flickr.
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