One thing we can be certain about in relation to the current recession is that it will be the most measured, analysed and studied recession ever. A veritable cornucopia of economics Phds for generations to come!
And to add to the data stream, my own company has just developed an Economic Recovery Index that uses the opinions of 1,000 adults answering an online survey every month to try and guage where we are on the economic cycle (recession-trough-recovery etc).
We've been running it since April. The chart shows the shift in the percentages of the sample selecting each of five potential statements about the current economic situation. Like a number of other measures recently it suggests that people think things are 'getting bad more slowly' than recovering per se. Nevertheless there has been an across-the-board improvement in sentiments about the economy across all demographic groups between April and June. That said, older adults (over 50) tend to be more optimistic than the average, as do women more than men.
We are not seeing economic optimism translate into greater consumer activity yet - only 16% of adults in June agree 'I am more relaxed about spending money than I was a few months ago', unchanged since April. But a slight majority (53%) agree that 'now is a good time for young people to buy their first home' (also unchanged since April as it happens).
It's early days - I'll keep you posted if anything interesting happens in future waves.