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【TEJ Dictionary】Misery Index

What’s Inevitable Pain in 2022

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash


Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.(Taiwan) announced that economic growth rate of Taiwan during 2021 reaches 6.45% on Feb 24 2022. According to the result, it would be concluded that GDP per capita is 33,004 USD, namely 942,391 NTD. It is a good performance, but the public cannot feel it. Data from government is out of touch with reality. Also does media report this kind of situation as well. For example, Every Price Is Booming. What’s behind Pretty Number Is Pain of People. Hence, We would talk about Misery Index and its reference in this article.

🔸Highlights of this article🔸

  1. Composition of Misery Index
  2. Misery Index of Taiwan
  3. Misery Index of USA, Japan and South Korea

1️⃣ Misery index

It was published by Arthur Okun, consisting of “Inflation Rate” and “Unemployment Rate”. It is not a rigorous calculation method and cannot totally reflect macroeconomics situations. However, it actually play the role to represent the life of the public.

2️⃣ Misery Index of Taiwan

Based on above chart, we would observe that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is chronically relatively stable, around 3.7%~4.2%. Except tourism industry, the demand for labor force did not affected severly by COVID-19. As for the other proportion, inflation rate (CPI YoY Growth Rate), surpassed 2% since May 2021 and even reached 2.84% in Jan 2022, which had been over the object set by Central Bank Taiwan. Misery Index, therefore, increased from 3.47 to 6.45.

3️⃣ Misery Index of USA, Japan and South Korea

Misery Index’s Composition of USA(Top), Japan(down-left) and South Korea(down-right).
  • USA: The misery index in Jan 2022 reached 11.5. To boot, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics , CPI YoY Growth Rate is 7.5% in Jan 2022, which is the highest since Feb 1982. As a result, it is clear to understand that inflation is what makes that kind of misery index.
  • Japan: Despite the impact of pandemic, misery index of Japan is always smaller than 4. It stems from that society consensus remains “Keep Job” after the bubble’s collapse causing the low growth rate of income. The phenomenon further brings about that there is no significant increase in consumer spending. Both low-unemployment and low-inflation, therefore, appear.
  • South Korea: The main proportion is inflation as well. With recent news reporting, we would know that South Korea government boosts supply of produce so as to stabilize price. For example, South Korea Increase Supply of Beef&Pork to Stabilize Price.

With the above analysis, we conclude that the inflation problem is worldwide and OECD also infers that this is the most severe one in past 10 years.

🔸Data Source & TEJ Database Code🔸


By reading above article, you would understand that misery indexes recently ascend because of “Inflation”. After Feb 24 2022, Russia invasion of Ukraine, price of energy and commodities went up. To boot, many countries had published sanctions to Russia, including that expel Russia from SWIFT and forbid the freight of Russia’s oil and so forth. These actions make global economic situation more severe and even oil price climb to 139.13 USD per barrel, which is the second high after 2008, 147.50 USD. On top of that, Nickel’s price raise by 250% in two consecutive trading day. By those cases, we would know the influence of War between Russia and Ukraine. What we should concern right now is that whether the Stagflation will happen in near future. During such tough moment, we believe you need the well-rounded economic data to keep tracking the position. Hence, please do not hesitate to send your inquiries or ideas by phone or by email to us.

☎️: 02–87681088
✉️: tej@tej.com.tw

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TEJ 台灣經濟新報

TEJ 台灣經濟新報

TEJ 為台灣本土第一大財金資訊公司,成立於 1990 年,專門提供金融市場基本分析所需資訊,以及信用風險、法遵科技、資產評價、量化分析及 ESG 等解決方案及顧問服務。鑒於財務金融領域日趨多元與複雜,TEJ 結合實務與學術界的精英人才,致力於開發機器學習ML、人工智慧AI及自然語言處理NLP等新技術,持續提供創新服務