Thursday, July 17, 2008

Misery Index Climbs

Wall Street indexes rise and fall but the economic misery index goes on forever as a single-number summary of what is happening on Main Street. I therefore think it is well worth watching as a measure of how the economy is doing. The index (simply the sum of unemployment and inflation rates) rose in June to 10.5, the highest level in 15 years, i.e., since January 1993, the month President Bill Clinton was inaugurated and President G.H.W. Bush left office. Under Clinton the index improved but it has recently climbed back to what it was when he took over.

Misery Index in the Last Month in Office of Recent Presidents:
Carter: 19.3
Reagan: 10.1
Bush 41: 10.6
Clinton: 7.9
Bush 43 (as of June 2008): 10.5

More (Huffington Post)