Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


The ‘Misery Index’ Typically Forecasts Presidential Winners — But It Could Be Flawed

US 2024 Election (Credits: U.S. Embassy Prague)

The economy seems to be bouncing back post-pandemic, with experts like Paul Krugman and Mohamed El-Erian highlighting lower inflation, improved growth, and a resilient job market.

However, this positive view isn’t widely shared on Main Street, where concerns about a looming recession persist, and layoffs by major companies are on the rise. Surveys indicate that a majority of Americans aren’t pleased with “Bidenomics,” while workers are frustrated that their wages haven’t kept up with inflation.

2024 US Presidential Election (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

The “misery index,” a simple measure that combines inflation and unemployment rates to gauge economic health, may no longer accurately capture public sentiment toward presidents.

Developed by economist Arthur Okun in the 1970s, the index has recently dropped to about 7% under President Biden, signaling better economic conditions post-pandemic. However, this improvement doesn’t align with how people feel about the economy.

Despite the lower inflation and stable unemployment rates, Biden’s approval ratings regarding economic management remain low. This has implications for his reelection chances, with polls showing Trump gaining a slight lead and Biden’s odds estimated at around 45% for November’s election.

US Elections (Credits: International IDEA)

Economists like Larry Summers argue that the misery index is outdated because it doesn’t factor in interest rates. The Federal Reserve‘s actions to curb inflation by increasing interest rates have led to higher borrowing costs, affecting mortgage and credit card payments. This, in turn, has contributed to public dissatisfaction with the current economic situation.

Biden will need to change public perceptions about the economy to secure reelection. This involves addressing concerns about rising costs and stagnant wages affecting everyday Americans.

At the same time, the credibility of economic indicators like the misery index is under scrutiny, given the changing financial landscape and the disconnect between economic data and public sentiment.

Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We’re dedicated to providing you the most authenticated news. We’re working to turn our passion for the political industry into a booming online news portal.

You May Also Like


Actress Emma D’Arcy is from the British rebellion. She has only appeared in a small number of movies and TV shows. It might be...


Jennifer Coolidge Is Pregnant: Jennifer Coolidge Audrey Coolidge is a comedian and actress from the United States. Many of her followers are wondering if...


Spoilers! The demon Akaza from Kimetsu no Yaiba dies in the eleventh arc of the manga and the one responsible for his death is...


The young YouTube star Emily Canham has recently been seen making headlines for her amazing work and her journey. She started from scratch and...