The Stress Index

Constant readers know I enjoy gauging the health of the economy through rather unorthodox statstical measures — sales of iPhones and big-screen TVs, for instance.

Here comes another sign that all is not as rosy as official figures proclaim.  Call this one the Stress Index:

Forty-eight percent of Americans say they're more stressed now than they were five years ago, and the same percent report regularly lying awake at night because of stress, according to a new study by the American Psychological Association…

So what is it we're worrying about while we stare at the ceiling all night? Primarily two things: money and work, the main woes for nearly 75 percent of Americans. That's way up from 59 percent of us stressed out over those two things a year ago…

We're also worrying about making the rent. More than half of people polled say paying the landlord or making the monthly mortgage causes great stress.

Please pause for a moment to contemplate this:  A thoroughly scientific survey, presumably representative of the U.S. population at large, reveals more than half of Americans experience "great stress" just trying to keep a roof over their heads.

No wonder two out of three Americans see a recession on the horizon.

The Daily Reckoning