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Jobless up, but baht strongest in 2 years


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Jobless up, but baht strongest in 2 years

By WICHIT CHAITRONG 
THE NATION

 

THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate in the first quarter went up slightly to 1.2 per cent, from 0.97 per cent in fourth quarter of last year, but the baht reached its strongest value in almost two years yesterday.

 

Last year’s unemployment rate was 1 per cent. A total of 460,000 people were out of a job in the first quarter this year as private investment and exports have not yet fully recovered.

 

The total employment figure for the first quarter was 37.4 million, down 0.6 per cent year on year. Employment in the farm sector dropped 1.4 per cent and in the non-farm sector 0.3 per cent, since exports and private investment have not yet fully recovered, said Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). 

 

However, he said employment would probably rise later as export growth is expected to continue, and employment in the farm sector in April rose 7 per cent. 

 

Average wages also dropped by 0.9 per cent in the quarter, in contrast with labour productivity, which increased 4 per cent.

 

In contrast to the bad news for the labour market, the baht appreciated to 34.04 per US dollar, the strongest in 22 months, during yesterday’s afternoon trading. This will not adversely affect exports because it is due to short-term market moves, Porametee said.

 

Thiti Tantikulanan, executive chairman of Kasikorn Securities, said the baht was attractive among foreign investors because of Thailand’s relatively high current-account surplus.

 

He said the baht, the Taiwan dollar and the South Korean won were the strongest among Asian currencies, largely driven by high current-account surpluses. 

 

Thailand current-account surplus was US$46.8 billion last year, equivalent to 11.5 per cent of gross domestic product. The NESDB projects that the current-account surplus this year will remain high at about $38.8 billion, equivalent to 8.9 per cent of GDP. 

 

The baht appreciated 0.8 per cent quarter on quarter in the first three months of this year. It averaged 35.11 per dollar in the first quarter and then appreciated to 34.45 in April because of depreciation of the dollar as investors became less worried about interest-rate increases by the US Federal Reserve.

 

The baht yesterday appreciated sharply, by 0.44 per cent, during afternoon trading. 

 

Reuters reported that the baht had appreciated by about 5 per cent year-to-date. The South Korean won has risen 7.91 per cent, the Taiwan dollar 7.18 per cent and the India rupee 5.12 per cent. 

 

Investors usually borrow US dollars at low cost and then invest in Thai government bonds, which deliver higher returns than US bonds. They also gain from baht appreciation. 

 

The baht has been approaching 34 per dollar and the central bank might try to keep it from crossing this psychological level, Thiti said. 

 

The current-account surplus in the first quarter remained high at $13.3 billion, according to the NESDB. Rising exports contributed to the surplus.

Export value grew by 6.6 per cent in the quarter, the highest rate in the last 17 quarters. Receipts from tourism also played a part in the surplus. Exports also grew by 8.5 per cent in April. 

 

The Bank of Thailand has been closely watching the currency market in order to make sure that the baht does not strengthen too much compared with Asian currencies, as it wants to make the baht stable and lessen the foreign-exchange impact on exports. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/business/EconomyAndTourism/30316431

 

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-27
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Those laughable "unemployment" numbers.

If only I knew how they determine them in a country without a proper employment office/registration/benefits. Half of the population in Isan could be categorized as unemployed.

Except you label broom making in homework for 1xx Baht/day as employed.

 

The relevance of this number for the Baht exchange is to my estimation 0.0001 :sleep:

 

More than 8 million people registered as poor for the 3000 Baht handout.

That's about 12 percent of the population.

Even if the number is inflated and some would not qualify for a job, it still proofs the uselessness of this 0.8 to 1.2 percent unemployment rate.

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24 minutes ago, LolaS said:

I never met a thai who doesnt work, even disabled people work

You have never met a Thai that dosnt work, what you arrived yesterday?

I n our village, within 60 ,meters of our home ,there are 5 Thai men who never work.

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2 hours ago, colinneil said:

You have never met a Thai that dosnt work, what you arrived yesterday?

I n our village, within 60 ,meters of our home ,there are 5 Thai men who never work.

What about all these Monks Colin, nobody is going to say they work surely.

I wonder what percentage of the Thai population are Monks.

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16 hours ago, patekatek said:

Congratulations on the strong baht.   Congratulations on your continuing drop in exports due to your strong baht.   I agree with RichardColeman's post regarding unemployment.

 

Congratulations on getting it completely backwards.  In fact, Thai exports are up slightly and that causes the baht to rise. 

 

thailand-exports@2x.png?s=thnfexp&v=2017

 

 

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It is difficult to know how accurate the information is. Anything coming from this government, I am skeptical of. They are not exactly purveyors of the truth. And how do you measure the rural aspect of this equation? What boggles my mind, is how the thai baht is so strong at the moment. Anyone have a clue as to what that is all about? Is it about cash inflows? Emerging market investments?

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9 hours ago, spidermike007 said:

It is difficult to know how accurate the information is. Anything coming from this government, I am skeptical of. They are not exactly purveyors of the truth. And how do you measure the rural aspect of this equation? What boggles my mind, is how the thai baht is so strong at the moment. Anyone have a clue as to what that is all about? Is it about cash inflows? Emerging market investments?

Yes, it is hard to understand because we want to think trough prism of our western ( neoliberal and liberal ) economies.

Thailand integrated after 1997 crisis, Protectionistic system, something like Trump or Bernie would like to do in USA, if you are American or what EU do for Russia and China.

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On 5/27/2017 at 0:57 PM, KhunBENQ said:

If only I knew how they determine them in a country without a proper employment office/registration/benefits. Half of the population in Isan could be categorized as unemployed.

When I look around where I live, and I think it's similar nationwide, every other Thai is selling something. Be it mangos from the tree in his backyard, or some self made food, or standing on one of the 10 million evening markets or whatever.

 

Most of them do this only for a few hours a day though.

 

Why they do this ? Simple answer because they don't have a job, also because they don't want to work full days.

 

But yes because they sell something, it means they have a job then, but since every other Thai is selling something they hardly make any money.

 

So at the end of the day they are employed, doing nothing, and earning barely the salt on their potatoes.

 

Luckily they don't eat potatoes often.

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Yes but still:

There are so many factors affecting the value of a currency. A "biggie" is the economic growth rate of a country (GNP).
GNP is growing faster in Thailand than in the so called "mature economies". It is reasonable to assume, that this trend will continue. At some point in the future, Thailand will no more be "cheap" for westerners.


Farangs, harbouring long term plans concerning Thailand (20 years+), better include this scenario into their planning.


Plenty of folks, having had their retirement plans disrupted by "adverse currency fluctuations". = The south of Spain used to be a popular "retirement spot", as long as it was still "cheap", for example.
Cheers.


Caution: Donald would probably call official Thai-Statistics "Fake News".   :saai:

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14 hours ago, LolaS said:

Yes, it is hard to understand because we want to think trough prism of our western ( neoliberal and liberal ) economies.

Thailand integrated after 1997 crisis, Protectionistic system, something like Trump or Bernie would like to do in USA, if you are American or what EU do for Russia and China.

 

Yes, you are quite right about that. The banking system is one of the most conservative I have ever seen. I guess it creates stability. And there does seem to be continued interest in Thailand as an emerging market, for investment.

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10 minutes ago, LolaS said:

Is it true that pound dropped 30% and that some retired persons in Thailand from UK, kill themselves? 

The Pound is about the same now as it was 6 years ago

It rose by about 20 % a few years ago and has dropped back to the way it was .

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2 hours ago, sanemax said:

The Pound is about the same now as it was 6 years ago

It rose by about 20 % a few years ago and has dropped back to the way it was .

looking a longer period both Pound and Baht beg to differ. a lot of Brits are longer in Thailand than 6 years ago.

 

design_large.chart?WIDTH=645&HEIGHT=655&

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Unemployment? There is a severe labour shortage in almost every business and industry, has always been in all the 25 years i have been in Bangkok, exception was for 2 years during asian financial meltdown in 1997. Without the imported labour from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Phillipines etc there will be serious problems. Even with violence, coup, flooding, bombing etc nothing seems to ever affect tourism and exports. It is very bitter and sad for the thai bashers to accept, but it is the reality.

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Just now, saakura said:

Unemployment? There is a severe labour shortage in almost every business and industry, has always been in all the 25 years i have been in Bangkok, exception was for 2 years during asian financial meltdown in 1997. Without the imported labour from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Phillipines etc there will be serious problems. Even with violence, coup, flooding, bombing etc nothing seems to ever affect tourism and exports. It is very bitter and sad for the thai bashers to accept, but it is the reality.

Amen, I know that most thai ppl dont want to work some jobs, if there wasnt myarmanr, laos and other ppl, some profession would extinct in thaiand

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4 minutes ago, LolaS said:

Amen, I know that most thai ppl dont want to work some jobs, if there wasnt myarmanr, laos and other ppl, some profession would extinct in thaiand

Well i think they can afford not to work on those jobs because they have other ways to earn. Even those who say that most isaan men are unemployed and living in poverty, they can easily get a job if they wish to. 

Edited by saakura
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On 5/27/2017 at 3:13 PM, colinneil said:

You have never met a Thai that dosnt work, what you arrived yesterday?

I n our village, within 60 ,meters of our home ,there are 5 Thai men who never work.

Same in my old village...it was mostly the wifes who worked full time.

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