'Misery' in America is at a 56-year low

Misery is at a 56-year low in America.

In a note last Friday, Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg points clients to the market-based proxy for sentiment.

Created by economist Arthur Okun, the Misery Index plots the sum of the unemployment rate and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate.

It is seen as a simple way to measure how the average worker is doing, and it’s currently at its lowest level since May 1959.

Here’s Rosenberg:

“The combination of improving labour markets and the energy-induced boost to household purchasing power is a boon for Americans and is a key underpinning to our view that the lull in the economic data seen so far in 2015 is likely to be transitory in nature, with the consumer likely to play a lead role in a rebound over the remainder of this year.”

And here’s the happy chart:

But there are a couple of things in the economy and in data that suggest otherwise.

For example, the latest reading of Consumer Confidence came in far below expectations, and was a u-turn from the previous month. It was the biggest one-month decline since the government shutdown in October 2013.

And, everyone is looking to Friday’s jobs report for April to show a rebound from the ghastly print of just 126,000 job gains in March.

We’ll see.

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