Misery Index

Definition of 'Misery Index'


A measure of economic well-being for a specified economy, computed by taking the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate for a given period. An increasing index means a worsening economic climate for the economy in question, and vice versa.

Misery Index

Investopedia explains 'Misery Index'


The index was invented by Arthur Okun and used to characterize the current economic condition. The main assumption in this index is that an increasing unemployment rate and relatively high inflation have a negative impact on economic growth. At its highest, the misery index for the U.S. was at 21.98% in June 1980. At its lowest, it was 2.97% in July 1953. In March 2006, the index was at 8.1%.

In economic terms, a rise in inflation coupled with high unemployment leads to lower consumer expenditures and contributes to an economic slow-down.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Leveraged Benefits

    The use – by a business owner or professional practitioner – of their company’s receivables or current income to secure a loan whose proceeds then indirectly fund a retirement plan.
  2. Direct Consolidation Loan

    A loan that combines two or more federal education loans into a single loan. A Direct Consolidation Loan allows the borrower to make a single monthly payment. The loan is facilitated by the U.S. Department of Education and does not require borrowers to pay an application fee.
  3. Through Fund

    A type of target-date retirement fund whose asset allocation includes higher risk and potentially higher return investments "through" the fund's target date and beyond.
  4. Last In, First Out - LIFO

    An asset-management and valuation method that assumes that assets produced or acquired last are the ones that are used, sold or disposed of first.
  5. Variable Universal Life Insurance - VUL

    A form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature. The premium amount for variable universal life insurance (VUL) is flexible and may be changed by the consumer as needed, though these changes can result in a change in the coverage amount.
  6. Monetary Policy

    The actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and rate of growth of the money supply, which in turn affects interest rates. Monetary policy is maintained through actions such as increasing the interest rate, or changing the amount of money banks need to keep in the vault (bank reserves).
Trading Center