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Anyone noticing things slowing down economically?


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Where I live things have been looking better the last month or so.  Definitely more people traveling now.  The local markets are getting close to normal traffic now.

Before things were looking pretty bad.  Having students back in town at the local university has helped the restaurants here.

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In my area a lot of places closed down and the shops who remain open have very few customers. I went to a restaurant where I have eaten many time's last week, and the rice must have been days old. So not only are they closing but they are really trying to hang on. God bless these people.

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The Times They Are A Changin'.

 

People's needs, tastes, and means have changed, not to mention the many who moved away to find other opportunities.  The gold shop is closed; a 20 baht store has taken its place.  Things will improve in the aggregate, but don't expect a return to The Way We Were.  As always in business, survivors will be those who spot change and adapt.

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23 minutes ago, vandeventer said:

In my area a lot of places closed down and the shops who remain open have very few customers. I went to a restaurant where I have eaten many time's last week, and the rice must have been days old. So not only are they closing but they are really trying to hang on. God bless these people.

Yeah I think if it came down to a survival of the fittest in Thailand the meek would certainly do the best as these people have very little to lose and always seem to be able to rustle up a feed just off the road. I do feel sorry for the mom pop noodle soup sellers and restaurants as most of them live hand to mouth. I predict tough times ahead 

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A year ago, once the 2020 lockdown was eased up, the economy was looking up in Udon Thani, Many more new roadside businesses (probably set up by returning tourist workers) appeared. Obviously Farang oriented business not so good. But around July, as the new Covid wave began to bite, things changed. Businesses closed, the town was less busy, and my wife's village corner shop saw a drop of takings for the first time, now down 30-40%. Only the essentials and Lao khao are selling - beer, sweets and other non-essentials are not selling well.

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On 11/25/2021 at 2:39 PM, KhunLA said:

Strangely the opposite.  Things have never been busier where I am.  Not a metro or tourist driven economy here, so little has changed during the past 20 months, with exception when in total lock down.   But most business are long time operators, building owners, and surprisingly a few new places have successfully opened since.  Quite the risk takers and so far, paying off.

 

 

Same here in our market town in Isan, it's positively thriving here except no alcohol is served in the bars, just food and coffee. No businesses are shut and the the streets are thronged as usual. Covid isn't taken seriously here, a hardware shop just out side my village in a market set up had one of their employees contract covid 19 but he just left and went home for a few weeks, the place wasn't closed and no effort was made to contact people who had been served there.

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7 hours ago, rickudon said:

A year ago, once the 2020 lockdown was eased up, the economy was looking up in Udon Thani, Many more new roadside businesses (probably set up by returning tourist workers) appeared. Obviously Farang oriented business not so good. But around July, as the new Covid wave began to bite, things changed. Businesses closed, the town was less busy, and my wife's village corner shop saw a drop of takings for the first time, now down 30-40%. Only the essentials and Lao khao are selling - beer, sweets and other non-essentials are not selling well.

Kinda mirrors what we're seeing in Khon Kaen. My wife's business still getting some customers but mainly small items. I would say things started going South around the same time gradually getting worse

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On 11/24/2021 at 11:39 PM, KhunLA said:

Strangely the opposite.  Things have never been busier where I am.  Not a metro or tourist driven economy here, so little has changed during the past 20 months, with exception when in total lock down.   But most business are long time operators, building owners, and surprisingly a few new places have successfully opened since.  Quite the risk takers and so far, paying off.

 

 

Much more commonplace to see a general stability throughout local provincial economy/business of the last year-n-a-half. 

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26 minutes ago, zzaa09 said:

Much more commonplace to see a general stability throughout local provincial economy/business of the last year-n-a-half. 

It sounds like it might depend on which province you are. I would say ours going south slowly. Only really last 3 months its been noticeable. Up until then not a lot of change from normal. Guy from Udon seems to be saying the same thing, Udon Thani is next door to us

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its the same all over the world ,job losses and bizzos going bust ,in the uk my local thai eateries are still doing takeways only no dine in ,they are scared to  open for fear of covid

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Just now, 3NUMBAS said:

its the same all over the world ,job losses and bizzos going bust ,in the uk my local thai eateries are still doing takeways only no dine in ,they are scared to  open for fear of covid

Oh no doubt about it. But what surprises me is it's taken this long to bite up where I am. I mean obviously the tourist areas and the capital would have been feeling it from day one but up here has taken a while to filter through. I guess the overall damage been done to Thailand's economy which is by and large foreign driven and reliant, would have to eventually effect all Thailand. Maybe more of a local economy here but it must be driven by money and demand coming from the country and externally itself. I just think about all the money sent back to provincial families from tourist areas, factories etc. Foreign sponsors. Entertainment workers. There's a big chunk of the rural economy gone there, particularly people out in the boonies

 

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My observations for Isaan are firstly many more small roadside stalls. I see this as a sign of many more people trying to make an income from these micro-businesses because alternate employment opportunities are just not there. My bank seems very quiet currently and has been for the last couple of months. A couple of years ago it was hard to get a seat - and that was before Covid spacing took half them away - often the queue meant any bank business took around an hour. These days waltz in get a ticket and almost always straight to the counter, out in 5 minutes.

 

I don't see many established businesses closing locally but without a doubt times are tough for many in speaking to business owners. 

 

The very low rice price is impacting farmers throughout the region and they are looking for alternatives to increase their income. Our business deals in contract growing of seed crops and we are almost overwhelmed with enquiries from new groups of farmers at the moment. Again a few years ago we had to work quite hard to build these up. 

 

Hiring workers is also very easy currently, which has not always been the case. Local labor rates have also fallen from a couple of years ago when most would not work for anything much below the minimum wage - 300 baht at that time. Now many employers are only paying 200 baht a day for agricultural laborers. There are tales of employees not paying their workers at all for months on end. I would add that we pay substantially more than minimum wage before I get flamed for being exploitative. 

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1 minute ago, sbf said:

My observations for Isaan are firstly many more small roadside stalls. I see this as a sign of many more people trying to make an income from these micro-businesses because alternate employment opportunities are just not there. My bank seems very quiet currently and has been for the last couple of months. A couple of years ago it was hard to get a seat - and that was before Covid spacing took half them away - often the queue meant any bank business took around an hour. These days waltz in get a ticket and almost always straight to the counter, out in 5 minutes.

 

I don't see many established businesses closing locally but without a doubt times are tough for many in speaking to business owners. 

 

The very low rice price is impacting farmers throughout the region and they are looking for alternatives to increase their income. Our business deals in contract growing of seed crops and we are almost overwhelmed with enquiries from new groups of farmers at the moment. Again a few years ago we had to work quite hard to build these up. 

 

Hiring workers is also very easy currently, which has not always been the case. Local labor rates have also fallen from a couple of years ago when most would not work for anything much below the minimum wage - 300 baht at that time. Now many employers are only paying 200 baht a day for agricultural laborers. There are tales of employees not paying their workers at all for months on end. I would add that we pay substantially more than minimum wage before I get flamed for being exploitative. 

I have noticed the banks very quiet too, and the roadside stalls, but unfortunately most of these go broke in 3 months. They have no capital and expect to be making a living from day one, which as most know is a fairy tale in any business. Usually lose what savings they had and back to work. Mind you never ending stream of people always seem to take their place. I think a lot are doing food from home through the delivery companies. Many many people doing grab taxis and deliveries although if Mrs restaurant anything to go by food deliveries seem to be down 50% at least to what they were a few months ago. That's one thing that has boomed through covid, well up until now, particularly with the govt's 50/50 incentives. Even the incentives seem to be doing it anymore. 

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20 minutes ago, StayinThailand2much said:

They probably want to show the 8 million international tourists, supposedly on their way, their appreciation by slashing prices.

Keep them coming.

 

I'm getting flooded with great offers from Marriott,Pullman, and Minor group.

 

Going to Hua Hin with my wife in December.  Still a little pricey at the Hilton but nothing like before COVID.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

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7 minutes ago, sbf said:

My observations for Isaan are firstly many more small roadside stalls. I see this as a sign of many more people trying to make an income from these micro-businesses because alternate employment opportunities are just not there.

I saw this in my area at the beginning of the Covidiocy but little by little the "authorities"

cracked down,suppressed and hit them on the head with more and more idiocy until quite a few just gave up trying 😟

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4 minutes ago, MrJ2U said:

Going to Hua Hin with my wife in December.  Still a little pricey at the Hilton but nothing like before COVID.

Can't go wrong with the Hilton. Stayed at one of them on Phuket two years ago. Majority of guests were Chinese.

Edited by StayinThailand2much
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1 minute ago, StayinThailand2much said:

Can't go wrong with the Hilton. Stayed at the one on Phuket two years ago. Majority of guests were Chinese.

Luckily most Chinese are in China at the moment.

 

Hilton just finished remodeling.  I'm looking forward to the time with my wife and a few friends.

 

Kids are being taken care off by Yai and the multitude of cousins here in dusty Issan.

We took them there two weeks ago.  

 

Oh my god that was a loooong week.  Exhausting!

2,7, and 10 years old

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34 minutes ago, sbf said:

My observations for Isaan are firstly many more small roadside stalls. I see this as a sign of many more people trying to make an income from these micro-businesses because alternate employment opportunities are just not there. My bank seems very quiet currently and has been for the last couple of months. A couple of years ago it was hard to get a seat - and that was before Covid spacing took half them away - often the queue meant any bank business took around an hour. These days waltz in get a ticket and almost always straight to the counter, out in 5 minutes.

 

I don't see many established businesses closing locally but without a doubt times are tough for many in speaking to business owners. 

 

The very low rice price is impacting farmers throughout the region and they are looking for alternatives to increase their income. Our business deals in contract growing of seed crops and we are almost overwhelmed with enquiries from new groups of farmers at the moment. Again a few years ago we had to work quite hard to build these up. 

 

Hiring workers is also very easy currently, which has not always been the case. Local labor rates have also fallen from a couple of years ago when most would not work for anything much below the minimum wage - 300 baht at that time. Now many employers are only paying 200 baht a day for agricultural laborers. There are tales of employees not paying their workers at all for months on end. I would add that we pay substantially more than minimum wage before I get flamed for being exploitative. 

I am curious to know which province /location you are in ? While overall local businesses in and around my location still open their doors daily I doubt it is in anticipation of genuinely viable profitable trade .

Hiring workers is also currently NOT easy regardless of proffered pay.

Perhaps  6 months ago there was a sudden proliferation of small roadside enterprises which could be accorded to the exodus of those previously involved in the more urban spin off of tourism. However as fast as they appeared they also have disappeared .

Major market places have diminished attendance especially in terms of longevity in browsing . People come and buy what they need and leave quickly in abandonment of the previous normal extended social experience. A reasonable outcome of the expectations in compliance to reducing exposure but a negative impact to those who relied on previous casual consumerist trade in non essentials.

Your business that you say has increased in inquiries? I find no surprise in that ! Many farmers involved directly or indirectly in grains production are being "squeezed " in almost all directions. Costs even on small scale have risen while returns on even small excess production have eliminated break-even input . Mechanization is rapidly replacing labour due to the absence of it and sadly despite the lesser efficiency of crop yield is economically more viable.

The economic sense of that may have appeal but in the greater reality  the spread of income is also rapidly destroying the social structure of communities.

In addition to that there are those that have undertaken credit risks in purchasing harvesting machinery that has a very limited seasonal capacity for earnings in an environment for which it was  not designed to operate in as it is too often required to do which causes large maintanence costs. 
IMO the declared pandemic has exacerbated the rate at which rural communities will become as much tenants as are the majority of urban dwellers.

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We have a couple of large retail / wholesale markets in our province. They call one of the Pratunam like the big fashion / clothing wholesale market in Bangkok. Pretty big even for our area. And a few other large clothing and night markets. They have all been decimated, but that goes back to near the start of covid. I reckon 20 - 30% occupancy compared to 100% before. Having said that I thought Thailand was on a backslide before Covid. I remember going away to Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Koh Chang high season before Covid and it was so quiet. We got the most ridiculously cheap prices on really good accommodation.

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On 11/26/2021 at 5:06 AM, superal said:

Old rice and/or re-cooked rice can be dangerous to eat if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours after cooking . I have seen street vendors and small shops just leave the unsold rice in a pot for the next day meals .  Google will give you good advice on this . Thai folks may get away with it as they have stronger stomachs but for us farang with a weaker immune system it is a main cause of food poisoning within Asea .  Sorry to digress from the main thread .     Stay safe

The misses is always very careful about 'old' rice......with a keen sense of smell she will just take a sniff and say nope! That's gone.

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In the nearest town to us...back of beyond in Isan..........I would say the vast majority of shops are still closed with only a handful of 'restaurants' remaining open.

 

The farmers type markets, fresh produce, remain open and fairly busy.

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