Budget clothing brand Primark is becoming one of the most searched for terms online, says Ask Jeeves, reflecting the effects of the economic downturn.

The search engine, which yesterday announced it was re-instating the Jeeves part of its name despite having dropped it three years earlier, said this was a reflection of the global ecomonic downturn and the fact that cash-strapped Brits are desperate to save money.

"The net is a great barometer of what people care about. People are turning to search engines for answers to questions they would previously have asked friends or family," said Cesar Mascaraque, managing director of Ask Jeeves.

"The shift in the questions we've been getting at Ask Jeeves has been really dramatic in the last few years. Of course, the economic downturn has had a massive impact."

The search engine said that three years ago when the economy was booming the most searched for terms included buy-to-let mortgages and Armani suits.