CEBF: Thai workers more financially stable, less in debt

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BANGKOK, 29 April 2011  – The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF) has indicated higher financial stability and less debts among the Thai workforce while the Government is urged to raise the daily wage by at least 9 THB.

CEBF Director Thanawat Polwichai cited a survey recently conducted among 1,200 laborers across the country, saying the majority of them or 88.4 percent were still indebted. However, the average amount of debt per household has lowered to 87,641 THB this year, as opposed to 91,063 THB of last year. Those having difficulties repaying their loans claimed that their incomes were inadequate for the expenses due to soaring prices of goods and fuel as well as the climbing interest rates.

The respondents reportedly called on the Government to consider increasing their wages by 9 THB per day at the minimum as well as maintain all populist policies in order to prop up spending and consumption, which had contracted upon the expensive goods problem.

Mr Thanawat elaborated that most workers were satisfied with the populist policies of both the Democrat and the Pheu Thai Parties. However, most of them agreed that the minimum wage hike could result in higher production costs for entrepreneurs and could create many long-term impacts on the economy, especially a soaring inflation rate. Therefore, any wage rise would need to be executed in a timely manner.