Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

The Economy: Why it feels so bad

CNN's Ali Velshi and Erica Fink take a long, hard look at five key measures of the economy to see how things really are out there and if your economic fears and concerns are justified.

1 of 7
BACKNEXT
Measuring the economy might be a science, but what makes the economy tick isn't.

The U.S. economy, more so than other worldwide economies, is largely based on how investors and, ultimately, consumers, feel. Typically, we measure economic strength or weakness using the GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, which is historically thought of as the broadest measure of economic activity.

But, while GDP may be a good measure of the whole economy (and it may not be, but that's another story), we wanted to take the temperature of the things that matter to you, and how you feel. How you feel affects how you spend, and that's what really matters in this economy.

We've taken a long, hard look at five measures of the economy that reflect how things really are out there, to see if your fears and concerns are justified. The measures we chose are those which we "touch" on a daily basis.

We charted them on a scale of 0-to-10: 0 being the worst that each of them have been since 1980; 10 being the best.

We decided to make 1980 our starting point because experts agree that the economy before then was so different from what it is now that it would be like comparing apples and oranges.

Here's what we found about how the economy is affecting you, via jobs, personal income, personal savings, industrial production and home prices.


NEXT: Jobs
Last updated October 31 2008: 9:42 AM ET
More Galleries
15 top-paid CEOs The 15 highest-paid corporate chiefs in America took home nearly $700 million last year -- about $47 million apiece on average. Expedia's Dara Khosrowshahi tops the list -- with $95 million in total pay. David Zaslav, who was no. 1 last year moves down to no. 15 this year. More
Driving Bentley's new SUV Spending an afternoon in Bentley's luxurious new $230,000 SUV. More
Best cars for the super-rich The Robb Report has selected these as the best new cars and SUVs for anyone who doesn't have to worry about how much they spend. More

Special Offer