Mon. May 20th, 2019

Misery Index: South Africa’s economy still sucks – report

south arfrica miserable economySouth Africa’s economy is one of the most miserable in the world, according to the latest Bloomberg Misery Index released in April 2019.

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Not to ruin your long weekend or state the obvious, but South Africa’s economy is pretty miserable.

So miserable, in fact, that the latest Bloomberg Misery Index, which sums inflation and unemployment outlooks for 62 economies, rated it as one of the worst.

Factors that influence this misery is intense economic stress and scant progress in taming price growth and getting people back to work.

South Africa is ranked third in the forecast, behind Venezuela and Argentina.

While this version paints an extreme picture, it only looks at 62 countries. However, other misery forecast indexes paint a similar picture.

Another forecast put South Africa in seventh, behind Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nigeria.

That version is one that was first developed by Arthur Okun, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, back in the 1970s.

The Bloomberg version is a bit different, but considering the difficulties faced in South Africa, especially with regards to youth unemployment, can’t be ignored.

Not the best news for a country in search of foreign investment to keep things ticking over.

The index explained

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Photo: Screenshot from Bloomberg

According to Bloomberg:

The Bloomberg Misery Index relies on the age-old concept that low inflation and unemployment generally illustrate how good an economy’s residents should feel. This year’s scores are based on Bloomberg economist surveys, while prior years reflect actual data.

Sometimes, of course, a low tally can be misleading in either category: Persistently low prices can be a sign of poor demand, and too-low joblessness shackles workers who want to switch to better jobs, for instance.

Happy economies around the world

The index rates Thailand, Switzerland, Japan and Singapore as the happier countries.

Globally, though, eyes remain firmly fixed on the United Kingdom as the country continues to battle it’s exit from the European Union.

If Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the bloc and Britain’s smaller trading partners stand to lose big, but Beijing and Washington could reap huge benefits, according to the United Nations.

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