Other Contributions

Economic Policy Projects

trendEcon - Daily economic indicators based on Google searches


Joint initiative with Ronald Indergand. Main collaborators: Angelica Becerra, Vera Z. Eichenauer, Stefan Legge, Nina Mühlebach, Christoph Sax, Severin Thöni
April 14, 2020 - Under the extraordinary circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and measures to fight its spread, the economy is changing faster than usual, yet standard economic indicators cannot capture this as they become available with a lag of up to several months. To provide policymakers and business leaders with timely information about the Swiss economy, we have developed a set of economic indicators for Switzerland based on Google search trends which are updated daily.
On www.trendecon.org you find all the information about the project, including on how to use our indicators and you can download the data. We also provide the accompanying R-package trendecon on GitHub.
After participation at the national Hackathon #VersusVirus (April 3–5, 2020), the project has been awarded CHF 10,000 for further development. Blog posts appeared in KOF Bulletin, Makronom, and Ökonomenstimme, and the project was covered in the media, including NZZ, Finanz und Wirtschaft (here and here) and Republik. The German Ministry of Economics has adopted our approach and constructed an index for Germany. This KOF Working Paper (June 2020) describes the methodology for an academic audience.