This is an interesting article of use to PR practitioners.  It discusses the kinds of data that the White House and Congress track in order to determine the health of the economy.  The data is not the usual fare reported in the news — GDP, unemployment rate, retail sales, etc.  These numbers reflect where the economy has been.  What politicians look for is data that tells them where the economy is going.  So they look at Google searches for new cars, at electrical output, at lumber production, at stock prices and weekly jobless claims because these give a real-time feel for the near future.  I particularly like the Google search metric for how it reveals more than what was originally intended.

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