Just how miserable do you feel these days?
When it comes to North America’s economic outlook, things do look rather gloomy right now. If you have any doubts, have a look the Misery Index.
Like the dreaded wind chill factor, the index takes unpleasant facts of life – unemployment and inflation – tries to gauge just how bad they make people feel. It’s a U.S. measure but the Canadian picture isn’t that much better.
Right, now the index is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been and how bleak the future looks to many people.
In fact, the index, first compiled during the runaway inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7 — 9.1% for unemployment and 3.6% for annualized inflation.