Measuring misery around the world – Globe Asia – May 2014

Professor Steve Hanke’s latest Globe Asia article provides a telling insight into the economies of many countries.

“The misery index concept can be applied to any country where suitable data exist. A misery
index — a simple sum of inflation, lending rates, and unemployment rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth — is used to construct a ranking for 90 countries (see the misery index scores, page 24).”

“When measured by the misery index, Venezuela holds the ignominious top spot, with an index value of 79.4. But, that index value, as of 31 December 2013, understates the level of misery because it uses the official annual inflation rate of 56.2%. In fact, I estimate that Venezuela’s annual implied inflation rate at the end of last year was 278%. That rate is almost five times higher than the official inflation rate. If the annual implied inflation rate of 278% is used to calculate Venezuela’s misery index, the index jumps from 79.4 to 301, indicating that Venezuela is in much worse shape than suggested by the official data.’

Following Venezuela are:

2) Iran - Inflation
3) Serbia - Unemployment
4) Argentina - Inflation
5) Jamaica – Interest Rate
6) Egypt - Unemployment
7) Spain - Unemployment
8) South Africa - Unemployment

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