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U.S. Climbs 25 Spots in World Economic Misery Index

2 mins
Updated by Ryan Smith
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In Brief

  • The Bloomberg economic misery index shows the U.S. dropping a whopping 25 spots.
  • Latin American countries continue to suffer while Asian Pacific ones are fairing much better.
  • The only silver lining to speak of on the day was an unexpected drop in jobless numbers.
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The U.S. is on track to see the largest reversal of fortune of any nation in the world this year. The statistic, designed by Bloomberg, evaluates the global misery index – a test of the level of economic misfortune in a nation.
The statistic calculates a score by adding inflation and unemployment. Higher scores indicate a higher economic misery, per the study.

The Bad, the Good, and the Worsening

Most of the scores remained relatively stable over the past year. For example, exploding inflation in South American nations kept Venezuela, Argentina, and Columbia in the top five positions. Strong economies and relatively low inflation in the Asia Pacific region kept several of those nations among the strongest five. Thailand remains strongest, while Singapore and Japan move into second and third positions respectively. However, in terms of overall moves, the U.S. ranked first, moving from among the ten least miserable (50th), to the middle of the pack at 25th. The U.S. economy dropped a stunning 25 spots. The shift in inflation is due, in large part, to the massive stimulus packages passed by Congress. With a whopping $7 trillion entering the U.S. economy, substantial inflationary pressures are likely around the corner. The rise in gold, silver, and bitcoin has seen an exodus of investor dollars and T-bills. Even Federal Reserve purchasing has not stemmed the flight out of Treasuries. Further, the movement in joblessness has also been driven by widespread economic closures due to the Covid-19 crisis. The impact has been so severe that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted that the U.S. could not survive another closure.

Any Silver Linings to Speak of?

On a somewhat positive note, the economic crisis may be abating, as jobless numbers came in below expectations. Initial claims slowed by 249,000 to 1.19 million, while continuing claims jumped to 16.1 million in the week ending July 25. The statistics offer a glimmer of hope for the U.S. economy in light of the misery index. Jobless claim reductions could point to a recovery, as the U.S. economy seeks to pull itself out of the coronavirus-induced doldrums.


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With a background in science and writing, Jon's cryptophile days started in 2011 when he first heard about Bitcoin. Since then he's been learning, investing, and writing about...