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23% of expats get by on less than 45,000 baht per month – Thaivisa survey

The Thaiger

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23% of expats get by on less than 45,000 baht per month – Thaivisa survey | The Thaiger

PHOTO: matadornetwork.com

ThaiVisa has released reports from its recent survey into life of expats in Thailand. The survey was conducted on the Thaivisa website so partly reflects the aspirations and life of readers of the site.

They report that a common theme on social media and forums is that Thais think of hooking up with or marrying farangs as their ultimate meal ticket. They are said to see dollar signs in their eyes and see the “hansum” foreigner as nothing more than a walking ATM to be pressed when needed and ignored like part of the furniture at other times.

But no more – that is if a Thaivisa survey is to be believed.

In the far ranging survey of a respectable 1,429 expats in the kingdom respondents were asked to reveal their monthly income. Almost a quarter (23%) were said to be trying to get by on less than 45,000 baht a month. Many of these may be earning less as the parameter was 25-45K.

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Many people would see this as subsistence level for living alone – let alone taking care of a Thai girlfriend, wife and kids. Or, heaven forbid, the extended family.

Almost 100 respondents didn’t even come up to this level of relative poverty. They were trying to survive on less than 25,000 baht – about what a recently graduated twenty something Thai person might try to scrape by on in Bangkok.

The good news is that the survey showed that expats may own their own rooms, houses and vehicles making the need for rent unnecessary.

Roughly half of the respondents earn over 65,000 baht and many a lot more.

STORY: Thaivisa



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Business

Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year

The Thaiger

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Thai exports fall 5.7 percent in January, year-on-year | The Thaiger

Thai export results have dipped for the third straight month, falling more than 5.65% compared to a year earlier. The fall was a lot bigger than expected, according to the Thai commerce ministry.

Shipments contracted 1.72% in December, compared to a year earlier as well.

January’s export drop was due to falling shipments of rice, gold, electronics and cars, according to the ministry. Digging into the numbers, exports to the US rose 8.3% in the first month of the year, compared to January 2018, but exports to China slumped 16.7%.

The strong Thai baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, has increasingly hit exports, particularly rice orders.

Checking imports for the same period, and the numbers jumped surprisingly 13.99% year on year, after sliding 8.15% in December 2018. Analysts say the surge in imports was partly due to imports of arms and military weapons.

There was a trade deficit of $4.03 billion in January, compared with a forecast surplus of $320 million surplus. December 2018 had a $1.06 billion surplus.

But the ministry says they are still forecasting export growth of 8% for 2019 after a 6.7% increase last year.

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Thailand

Weather for February 22

The Thaiger

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Weather for February 22 | The Thaiger

Bangkok

Generally clear. High 35ºC. Winds S at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

Phuket

Generally clear. High 32ºC. E winds shifting to S at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai

Generally clear. High 36ºC. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

Pattaya

Generally clear. High 31ºC. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

Hua Hin

Partly cloudy. High 33ºC. Winds SSE at 15 to 30 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

Ko Samui

Partly cloudy. High 26ºC. Winds SE at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 22 | News by The Thaiger

 

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Business

Strong baht a concern for Thai hotel sector

Bill Barnett

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Strong baht a concern for Thai hotel sector | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett

Thailand’s baht performance against Asian currencies in 2018, was unmatched, with the exception of the Japanese yen.

Commenting on the trend financial news Bloomberg have highlighted that in 2019, a further 4% in growth this year have it sitting at the top of the table.

Oddly, one of the underlying factors stimulating the baht’s appreciation is the recovery in tourism arrivals which has a double-digit impact on the country’s GDP.

While the elections remain a wild card on forward expectations, the reality is that the currency has not been hit like the Chinese yuan, which has been disrupted by a threatened U.S. China trade war and slowdown in its economy.

Despite higher than expected tourism numbers in 2018, hotel owners are cautiously optimistic on the prospects for the year.

In reality, despite rising prices for visitors, the economic climate is leading many property developers turning to hospitality assets as the real estate market remains volatile. The general view is that sustainable cash flow as part of their business mix is good and that tourism fundamentals remain strong.

Still, looking at nearby competitors such as Vietnam, which is rapidly growing from a cub into a tourism tiger, the issue of affordability is concerning. Currency swings remain a real and present factor in demand, so expect hoteliers to keep watching currency levels closely in 2019.

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