The misery index says the worst is over
The misery index — the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate — is ending 2023 at 6.8%. That's its lowest point since the pandemic hit in March 2020 and well below the 8.3% average for the century to date.
Why it matters: Unemployment and inflation are the two great causes of real (rather than merely vibes-based) economic misery.
The bottom line: The double whammy wrought by COVID-19 — first a huge spike in unemployment, and then a big rise in inflation — now seems to be over, with both indicators reverting to low levels indicative of a healthy economy.