The recent BTCUSD exchange rate increase has left many wondering how much of it is just speculation based on all the recent good news in the Bitcoin economy (reddit, Mega adoption, Coinbase growth, Bitcoin gambling growth, new Bitcoin stores and services launched, first ASICs delivered, etc..) and how much of it is actually based on sound new adoption.
Here's one decent attempt to make sense of various stats that do in fact support the premise that this is sound growth based on new adoption.
But another very good indicator is the google search trend for the term "Bitcoin" which just hit a new 19-month high:
Mt.Gox BTCUSD rate for the same period:
While it is true that an increased search volume does not necessarily translate into an increased user base it does however indicate a lot more interest in researching Bitcoin which up until now correlated quite well with the exchange rate, so it certainly is a data point to consider in your trading strategy.