Bloomberg: Thailand has the world’s least miserable economy

A combination of low inflation and low unemployment translates into Thailand having the least miserable economy in the world, according to the Bloomberg Misery Index, an annual ranking of 62 economies.

Bloomberg said that “Thailand again claimed the title of the “least miserable” economy,” but noted that Switzerland’s improvement to second least miserable was the most impressive result in its standings. Singapore, the most advanced economy in Southeast Asia, was the third least miserable, and the United States improved by six places to 13th least miserable.

The report also questioned how the Thai government calculates unemployment. Thailand does have a large number of people working in the informal economy, and so accurately measuring their employment status can be tricky. Nonetheless, most economists agree that unemployment in Thailand is low, even if a precise gauge of its level is difficult to calculate.

“Sometimes, of course, a low tally can be misleading in either category: Persistently low prices can be a sign of weak demand, and too-low joblessness shackles workers who want to switch to better jobs, for instance,’’ Bloomberg’s report said.

Those qualifiers do not appear to be relevant to Thailand, however, as consumption has been steadily rising even as inflations hovers around the 1 percent rate, and demand for workers, both skilled and unskilled, remains strong.

Thailand’s main challenge in economic development, aside from creating a more advanced and green economy, is reducing disparities. Income levels and services markedly decline the further one travels from Bangkok and the Kingdom’s economic heartland of the central provinces and Eastern Economic Corridor.

The world’s most miserable economies, according to Bloomberg, are Venezuela, Argentina, South Africa, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia.