The ‘misery index’ is rising

Whether we enter a recession, people are miserable.

This week, the Fed announced the biggest interest rate hike since 1994.

The central bank is trying to fight inflation by slowing the economy down without sending it into a recession.

  • Unfortunately, a recession is looking likely: The chances of us entering one by Q1 2024 are at 71.7%, per Bloomberg.

Whatever happens…

… people are feeling the heat either way. The misery index — a measure that sums up inflation and unemployment rates — is rising dramatically.

  • What it tells us: The misery index is meant to measure American households’ economic well-being. The idea: the higher the index, the worse the misery.

The first misery index was developed by economist Arthur Okun, an advisor to President Lyndon Johnson, in the 1970s.

Unrelated, but related: Apparently, it’s a TikTok trend to drive past the Missouri state line while blasting Maroon 5’s “Misery.”

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