Thailand Business News
|The findings of HSBC Expat Explorer survey show that Thailand is the number one expat destination when compared globally across economic and lifestyle factors, this for the second time since the survey started four years ago.|
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Thailand number one expat destination (HSBC survey)
Domestic demand has also shown signs of life, but the severe weather, the withdrawal of consumption-based fiscal stimulus and political uncertainty should be a drag on growth. With a large fraction of the population still occupied in agriculture or working in rural areas, agriculture is a critical variable for the performance of household consumption.
Overall, domestic demand should provide a positive but limited contribution to growth: vulnerable households lost ground in 2009 and risks are substantial in 2010, as falling agricultural output due to the current drought may offset opportunities from the improved overall economic environment. Household consumption levels, which are highly correlated with the poverty rate, contracted in 2009 despite the rebound in the last quarter of the year, suggesting a likely increase in the poverty rate compared to 2008, especially when compounded by the loss in purchasing power from the food and fuel crisis of 2008. The outlook for 2010 is uncertain : average wages are likely to increase, thanks to the reallocation of labor from agriculture to manufacturing. Although labor markets appear very tight, with unemployment below 1 %, the data do not account for the large number of workers who moved to lower-productivity jobs in agriculture and informal services due to the crisis. Many of these workers are now returning to manufacturing, which offers higher wages than agriculture.
Alexander Wood, a founding partner of AWR Lloyd, believes the global crisis has acted as a catalyst for a fundamental, structural change in the global capital markets. The real new players in the markets are the sovereign wealth funds.
Many Thai listed companies, while public, aren’t really public : they remain family-owned companies with low free floats.