Tracking the Obama Stimulus Plan on Yahoo! Search

  • Posted January 12th, 2009 at 1:10 pm by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search Trends

As Americans look toward a new president in a tough economy this year, we have been noticing some very interesting data about how people are using search to help them in this recession. In the last few days, President-elect Barack Obama’s economic plan seems foremost on people’s minds – searches for “Obama stimulus package” in the last week quadrupled compared to the week before. Related searches include “stimulus checks” (up 80% compared to last week), “obama stimulus plan” (up 309%), and “second stimulus rebate checks” (up 75%).

The Obama stimulus plan has yet to reach Congress, but its search volume is already nearly half of the search volume for the Bush stimulus package when it was signed last February. As legislation is finalized on Obama’s stimulus plan, we can expect search volume to grow and perhaps even surpass its predecessor.

search activity chart for economic stimulus plan

Though we learned only a month ago that America has been in a recession for a year, searches on unemployment and how to invest more safely had already started to bubble as early as last July. As people mulled over their investment strategies over the holidays, our search data showed that people are looking for conservative investment tools. Searches for “savings bonds” spiked 21 % this week, as did terms like “treasury bills” and “FDIC insured savings.”

While the jury is still out on how the new stimulus plan will affect the economy, people have already started searching for tax-related information to prepare for the tax season ahead. As early as the first of the year, we have seen searches for “taxes” steadily buzzing up – this week the search for “taxes” went up 50 %. Searches for “H and R block” (up 66 %), “file taxes online” (up 50 %), and “where can I file my taxes” (up 39%) were all abuzz in web search this week as well.

As more details about Obama’s stimulus plan unfold, what information are you searching for to help you prepare for the economy this year?

By Eugenia Chien and Andrea Sandke
Yahoo! Search

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