16 August 2013

Stress, Happiness & Shopping

Gallup tracks quite a few variables that define America in this 21st century. I've combined three of them below: the % of Americans who were happy or stressed and the dollars they spent.

Fortunately, spending is up.Consumption is the biggest driver of GDP, and as Americans spend more, GDP goes up and jobs are created and ... well then everyone is happier. Right?

Curiously, though, happiness and stress levels haven't seemed to move quite as much as spending levels. In fact, they seem to move to their own rhythm. Americans love shopping. It seems that shopping fails to return these affections. America's mood seems unrelated to the amount it spends. 

Happiness / Stress is "The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks daily the percentage of Americans who, reflecting on the day before they were surveyed, say they experienced a lot of happiness and enjoyment without a lot of stress and worry versus the percentage who say they experienced daily worry and stress without a lot of happiness and enjoyment."
Spending is "Gallup tracks daily the average dollar amount Americans report spending or charging on a daily basis, not counting the purchase of a home, motor vehicle, or normal household bills. Respondents are asked to reflect on the day prior to being surveyed and results are presented here in a 14-day rolling average"

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