Misery Index

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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.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What was the most miserable day for financial markets according to the Misery Index?

    The most miserable month ever according to the Misery Index was June of 1980. The all-time high for the Misery Index was ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
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    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is the employment figure important to a "dove"

    The employment figure is important to doves, because they are primarily concerned with the health of the labor market. Doves ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I use a regression to see the correlation between prices and interest rates?

    In statistics, regression analysis is a widely used technique to uncover relationships among variables and determine whether ... Read Full Answer >>
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