Thailand 'least miserable' country on Earth

Thailand 'least miserable' country on Earth

Once again, Thailand has placed last on the list of the world's most miserable countries. That's a good thing.
Once again, Thailand has placed last on the list of the world's most miserable countries. That's a good thing.

Thailand has been ranked as the least miserable country out of 66 economies for a fourth consecutive year, according to Bloomberg's Misery Index for 2018.

Thailand again claimed "least miserable" status, though the nation's unique way of calculating unemployment helps give it the edge over the next least miserable, Singapore.

The island state claimed least miserable status in 2014.

Venezuela marks its fourth year as the world's most miserable economy, with a score that's more than three times what it was in 2017.

The Bloomberg Misery Index relies on the age-old concept that low inflation and unemployment generally illustrate how good an economy's residents should feel.

Sometimes, of course, a low tally can be misleading in either category: Persistently low prices can be a sign of poor demand, and joblessness which sinks too low shackles workers who want to switch to better jobs, for instance.

The combination of inflation and unemployment rate gives Thailand its score.

According to Bank of Thailand, the country's inflation rate was low at 0.66% last year while the country's unemployment rate was 1.04%.

Still, Thailand's unique way of defining "employment" helps give it least miserable status.

Thailand's unemployment rate has been remarkably low for years, ranging between 0.4-1.2% since 2011. According to a central bank officer, the low unemployment rate is a result of structural factors.

The agriculture and "informal" sectors such as street vendors or motorbike taxi drivers absorb most of those labourers who lose their jobs in the formal sector.

Some have not been so fortunate. In Venezuela, hyperinflation has left many economists throwing up their hands at the actual rate of price growth.

At the other end of the spectrum, Mexico has made the most progress this year, moving 16 notches toward "least miserable" as economists remain optimistic the central bank will be able to tame last year's bout of high inflation. 



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