Google today announced the launch Google Domestic Trends on Google Finance. Google Domestic Trends tracks Google search traffic across specific sectors of the economy. The changes in the search volume of a given sector on google.com may provide useful economic insight.
Google has created 23 indexes that track the major economic sectors, such as retail, auto and unemployment. Each index value is baselined at 1.0 on January 1, 2004 and is calculated and displayed on the Google Finance charts as a 7-day moving average. You can easily compare actual stocks and market indexes to these Google Trends on the charts.
For example, the Google Luxuries Index tracks queries like [jewelry], [rings], [diamond], [ring], [jewelers], [tiffany] and so forth. As you can see from the screenshot below, this index has seasonal spikes in December — however, in the last two years there has been a pronounced decrease as the recession made consumers wary of spending on luxury items.
The Auto-Buyers Index is also interesting, especially the dramatic 40% increase correlated with the launch of the Cash for Clunkers program in the U.S.:
These charts let you easily compare actual stocks and market indexes to Google Trends. And the data for these indexes are available for download — so you can use it with your own models.
More details can be found on Google Finance Blog.