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Low inflation to help boost real wages, with Thailand at 6.1 per cent

Dec 08. 2015
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By THE NATION

Salaries in Thailand are expected to increase by 6.1 per cent next year, according to a forecast issued yesterday advisory firm Korn Ferry. Asia are forecast to increase by 6.4 per cent - down 0.4 per cent from last year. However, real wages are expected
Workers around the world are expected to see real wage increases of 2.5 per cent - the highest in three years - as pay increases combine with historically low inflation to leave employees better off.
“Vietnam has topped the region’s real wage increase at 7.3 per cent due to employers giving high salary increases in a very competitive talent market,” said Dr Mana Lohatepanont, managing director for Southeast Asia at Hay Group. 
“Thailand’s forecast inflation rate of negative-0.1 per cent, which is reflective of its being the slowest-growing economy in Asean and lower global oil prices, is expected to contribute to a continued high level of real wage increase of 6.1 per cent in 2016.” 
Despite China’s economic slowdown, coupled with plummeting stock markets and reduced exports, workers in the country are set to see an 8-per-cent salary increase in 2016 as employment rates continue to grow because of the increasing need for skilled workers and the sustained rise of the middle class. 
Seeing the benefit of being a part of the fastest-growing major economy, Indian workers are also forecast to see the highest real wage increase in three years, at 4.7 per cent compared with 2.1 per cent this year and 0.2 per cent in 2014. 
“Asia continues to drive growth in wages globally as companies look set to increase wages,” said Philip Spriet, global managing director for productised services at Hay Group. “However, the global labour market is in flux as the ageing workforce in advanced economies begins to take hold.” 
Wage increases in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines are projected to be slightly lower next year than in 2015.
Workers across Europe are set to see an average salary increase of 2.8 per cent in 2016, and with inflation at 0.5 per cent will see real wages rise by 2.3 per cent. 
 
This upward trend can also be seen in North America, where the labour market is buoyant.
 Across the continent, salaries will increase by 2.8 per cent – the same as last year. 
Workers in Latin America are forecast to see the largest headline salary rises in 2016 at 11.4 per cent. However, because of high inflation in the region (12.8 per cent), they are expected to see real wage cuts of 1.4 per cent. 
Next year looks positive for workers in the Middle East and Africa. Despite plunging oil prices and economic and political chaos throughout the region, salaries are forecast to rise by 5.3 per cent in the Middle East and 6.5 per cent in Africa. 
Relatively low inflation means that workers are set to see real wage increases of 3.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.
 

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