For a clear snapshot of a country's economic performance, a look at my misery index is particularly edifying. The misery index is simply the sum of the inflation rate, unemployment rate and bank lending rate, minus per capita GDP growth.
The epicenter of the Ebola crisis is Liberia. My Oct. 17 blog post reported on the level of misery in and prospects for Liberia.
This blog post contains the 2012 misery indexes for Guinea and Sierra Leone, two other countries in the grip of Ebola. Yes, 2012; that was the last year in which all the data required to calculate a misery index were available. This inability to collect and report basic economic data in a timely manner is bad news. It simply reflects the governments' lack of capacity to produce. If governments can't produce economic data, we can only imagine their capacity to produce public health services.
With Ebola wreaking havoc on Guinea and Sierra Leone, the level of misery is, unfortunately, very elevated and set to soar.