No blog about Thailand would be complete without a post about the currency exchange rates. Being from the UK I will only concern my self with the Baht / British pound rate which is abysmal. We all know that there are two forces in play affecting this exchange rate.

1. The strength of the Thai Baht

2, Brexit uncertainty.

The Thai Baht seems to be unbelievably strong, I am not an expert in any way but it appears to me that it is being kept high on purpose. The Thai authoriies state they are changing things to slow down capital inflows from abroad and now say they are relaxing capital outflow regulations soon. But I do not see any weakening of the Baht? Am I expecting too much?

The knock on effect in Thailand is a reduction in tourists who used to spend good money, a reduction in exports, the loss of  ex pats who were an important part of local Thai economies, a reduction in Hotel room bookings, closures of bars and restaurants with the loss of Thai jobs and the list goes on. With the level of household debt in Thailand being very high these job losses will only exascerbate the problems normal Thai people face.

A Thai lady near my house who has a massage shop, recently told me that I was her only farang customer now as all the others had left Thailand. I knew that a few in Chiang Rai were going  or gone but clearly it is more than I thought.

I was also talking to a lady that runs an estate agents in Chiang Rai who was very concerned that the number of enquiries she is getting has reduce to practically nothing. She was not happy with the situation at all. Even in my local Mom and Pop shop they are feeling it for the same reasons.

All this anecdotal evidence must mean something.....

Then there is Brexit. I will not go into the politics but the uncertainty has been going on far too long. This has kept the pound at the lowest its been since I can remember. But I read that there are huge GBP short positions in the forex market  that one day will have to be closed. Again, I am nowhere near expert in these things, but when the shorts start being closed and the trend goes in reverse, hopefully the strength of the pound should rapidly rise, therefore improving the THB / GBP exchange rate, But I will not hold my breath. We need Brexit done sooner rather than later. The uncertainity has to end for the sake of everyone, no matter their thoughts on the Brexit issue.

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