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Thai pay will rise to average 6% next year, behind Asia, Hay Group says

Thai employees should see their salaries rise by an average of 6 per cent next year, according to Hay Group, below the 7-per-cent average for Asia.

The management consultancy noted that while salary increases across the world were in decline, the increases in Asia were expected to be 0.2 percentage point less than in 2013, reflecting slowing but still strong economic forecasts. The highest increases will be seen in Vietnam (11.5 per cent), India (10.9 per cent), Indonesia (10 per cent) and China (8.6 per cent), Thailand (6 per cent), according to the firm's latest pay-forecast data.

"Even where optimistic rises are expected in fast-growing markets, high inflation means the economic recovery won't be felt in the pay packets of employees in many countries," the report said.

Salaries are set to increase by 5.2 per cent on average, 0.3 percentage point less than last year's forecast of 5.5 per cent.

Salary rises in Europe are forecast at 3.1 per cent on average, boosted by high increases in emerging nations. This compares with 3.3 per cent in 2013.

North America is set to see rises of 2.7 per cent in 2014 compared with 2.9 per cent last year.

In the Middle East, pay rises have stabilised but forecasts are down on 2013. The average rise forecast is 5 per cent - down 0.5 percentage point on last year.

Hay Group's research is based on the salary expectations of more than 22,000 organisations in 71 countries worldwide, representing 15 million employees.

Iain Fitzpatrick, vice president for pay at Hay Group, said expectations for growth in gross domestic product were not met this year, which has in turn tempered the forecast for growth in salaries for 2014 even as the outlook for GDP growth is optimistic. Companies are tending to be more conservative than a year ago.

"Even where optimistic rises are expected in fast-growing markets, high inflation means the economic recovery won't be felt in the pay packets of employees in many countries."

Hay Group's research reveals that fast-growth markets will see the biggest salary rises in the new year. However, high inflation means real income will fall in many countries.

Venezuela and Argentina look set to offer the highest predicted pay rises - 27 per cent and 24.3 per cent respectively - but these will lag significantly behind projected 2014 inflation rates - 36.4 per cent and 25.7 per cent respectively. As a result, employees will feel a significant cut in real income.

Pay rises across the rest of Latin America remain high compared with other regions but are generally down on last year. The only exceptions to this rule are Peru - where wage rises are up 0.4 percentage point to 6.4 per cent - and Brazil, up 0.6 percentage point to 6.1 per cent.

Europe's emerging nations can also expect noticeable increases in pay rises compared with their slow-growth neighbours. Ukraine (7.9 per cent), Russia (7.8 per cent) and Turkey (7.7 per cent) will experience the greatest upticks in wages but are again down on last year's forecasts.

British employees will experience pay increases of 2.5 per cent - a drop of 0.5 percentage point since 2013 and falling behind inflation, which is expected to be 2.7 per cent next year. France, too, will see pay rise of 2.5 per cent next year - 0.1 percentage point less than last year. Salary increases in Germany will remain at 3 per cent for a second year.

Pay rises in North America are predicted at 2.7 per cent. This reflects a mood of cautious optimism as the economy gets healthier and unemployment continues to drop.

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