Chart of the week: The feel-good factor returns

The “Misery Index” was widely used in the 1970s and 1980s to gauge the outlook for consumption, which accounts for the largest share of the UK economy.

The index, which is calculated as the sum of the unemployment and inflation rates, peaked at 30% in the mid-1970s. But it is now close to its lowest level in almost half a century, says Capital Economics. Unemployment of 5.7% and inflation of 0.3% makes a Misery reading of 6%.

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