Last month we announced the launch of our index tracking the use of the words ‘green shoots’ and ‘recovery’ in the newspapers. So where are the press putting us now?

June’s references to ‘recovery’ actually topped May’s (1323 compared to 1185), while ‘green shoots’ held steady.

Merely counting these key words won’t give you the entire story, of course. The articles’ focuses have largely switched, from the general public’s need to put faith into the markets and their restoration to the Government’s failure to do what they must.

The push for positive attitudes is making way for renewed caution and uncertainty, though the Independent (arguably the most optimistic paper) ‘whisper[s]’ about forecasts of “mild global recovery” in 2010.

In fact, according to the Times, optimism itself may now be a taboo word (and attitude) for public figures to admit to. The paper reminded us early this month about the derision faced by Treasury Minister Baroness Vadera for claiming she believed green shoots were visible back in January. (To be fair though, she walked straight into a trap laid by Sky News, who fed her the term and asked her to respond.)

This might go some way towards explaining the Government’s cautious attitude of late.