Problems that resulted from a severe economic crisis, the Great Recession, caused an economic adverse situation that hung over 2012 like a "black cloud." Let's not forget that the worse election year in recorded American history also caused a lost of hundreds of billions of dollars, that went into financing the election of candidates, when the same money could have been used to further "constructive" programs to help care for American citizens.
And let's not forget the money that had to be spent on warfare in 2012.
Any trends, that anyone can come up with, for the year 2012, will affected by how money was spent, or better said, "wasted," of on senseless projects and purposes.
The world look at we Americans and say, "What a pity, they have so much potential, but so little "vision." And as the Bible as so clearly, and correctly stated, "Where there is no vision, the people, Perish!"
Best regards, and Happy New Year,