South Africa has been ranked as the world’s most miserable economy after Venezuela and Argentina.
Bloomberg’s Misery Index, which ranks major economies by inflation and unemployment expectations, has ranked South Africa as the third most miserable economy in the world.
Venezuela, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey held on to their unenviable rankings from 2019 as the world’s four most miserable economies, with Venezuela keeping status as the world’s worse for a sixth straight year.
While the local inflation rate of around 2.2% is the lowest in 15 years, the official unemployment rate of 30% is the highest in a decade. Government estimates that between 3 and 7 million people could lose their jobs this year.
Thailand, Singapore, and Japan registered as the least miserable nations, with Switzerland in fourth place.
The US jumped up sharply in the misery index – from number 50 to 25.
Israel, Iceland, and Panama were the only countries to suffer a drop close to that seen in the US, according to Bloomberg. Of the world’s largest economies, China and Japan declined the least, while the eurozone and the UK both experienced bigger jumps in joblessness and drops in inflation.
Luxembourg’s economy improved the most between 2019 and 2020, by leaping to rank 30 from 47.
This year’s scores are based on Bloomberg surveys of economists’ estimates for 2020 price growth and joblessness in each economy and compares those values to last year’s actual data and includes only countries for which Bloomberg has sufficient economic forecasts.