INTERNET

Fears of new recession

rev up Google searches

Data from Google shows that searches for "recession" are currently at their highest level since November of 2009, just a few months after the end of the so-called Great Recession, The Washington Post reported.

Google's data show the overall volume of searches for a given topic, relative to its peak. In the case of "recession," searches peaked in January 2008, just after the start of the last recession. If recession searches in January 2008 were a 100, searches in December of this year have so far topped out at a 34. That means current interest in "recession" as a topic is about one-third of what it was in January 2008. The last time there were this many searches was in November 2009, which scored a 35.

The trend line above shows small spikes in recession searches in 2010 and 2011. Those were driven primarily by fears in the early Obama years of a double dip recession that fortunately never materialized.

RETAIL

Former Fisher Foods site

to become Family Dollar

A Mahoning County developer has started work to convert a former Fishers Foods store in Canton into a new retail outlet, The Canton Repository reported.

A Family Dollar will occupy the former grocery store at 1308 Harrison Ave. SW, according to information posted on the website for Cocca Development. Fishers Foods closed the grocery in January.

According to Cocca’s website, the project is one of 10 the company has under construction in Ohio and three other states.

ENERGY

BP sells three wind farms

to L.A. private equity firm

Oil and gas producer BP has sold three of its Texas wind farms to funds managed by affiliates of Los Angeles-based private equity firm Ares Management Corp.

London-based BP says the deal includes its Silver Star, Sherbino Mesa 2 and Trinity Hills turbine farms. Terms of the sale, announced Friday in Houston, weren't released.

BP says it wants to optimize and upgrade its other American turbine farms. It still will have interest in 11 wind farms in eight U.S. states.

AUTOS

South Korea fines BMW

after review of engine fires

South Korea said Monday it will fine BMW $9.9 million and file a criminal complaint against the company with state prosecutors over an allegedly botched response to dozens of engine fires reported in the country.

South Korea's Transport Ministry its investigation panel after a five-month review concluded that the German automaker deliberately tried to cover up technical problems and moved too slowly to recall vehicles after around 40 of its cars caught fire earlier this year.

BMW apologized and recalled some 172,000 vehicles of 65 different models in July and October over the fires.