Nudged by Inflation

Inflation for the 12 month period that ended in August is the highest rate in almost 3 years. I barely see the price changes, let alone feel the impact. The few packaged goodies I buy at 7/11 have gone up, one from 13 to 15 bt, the other from 28 to 32. Most restaurants and food vendors are giving smaller portions for the same price, but that could be just as much about the overall lack of visitors to town.

The new government is trying to stick to their campaign promise of a nationwide minimum wage of 300 bt (~$10) a day. An established process exists for encouraging industries to adopt it. Enforcement is limited to federal employees. They also have set a minimum wage of 15,000 bt (~$500) a month for any government job that requires a college degree. Experienced workers in those positions average only a little more than that. Both moves are expected to be inflationary.

The government went the opposite direction on fuel prices, cutting the taxes. Price of a liter of gas is about 20% less now. Pump prices are controlled by the government. When oil is cheap the tax fills a dedicated fund. When oil is expensive the pump price doesn’t change much and the fund is used to pay the oil companies the difference. No word on the fund’s current size and what will happen if oil prices rise.

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