Thailand is expected to enjoy unusually low unemployment and inflation this year

In what may come as a surprise, the least-miserable country in our analysis is the not-so-wealthy Thailand. That's partly thanks to an unusually low unemployment rate, currently tracking below 1 percent, that has so far failed to spur inflation. To be sure, the Land of Smiles, currently under martial law after a military coup last year, has a long way to go before it comes close to the living standards of developed economies. 

Elsewhere in Asia are two more countries that, despite their territorial differences, are treating their consumers to a relatively nice standard of living.

Japan, whose battle with deflation that started in the 1990s is only starting to fade, probably will see inflation of about 1 percent this year. Joblessness, too, has shown progress: The unemployment rate is set to ease further to 3.5 percent after averaging 3.6 percent last year. 

China's relatively subdued inflation and unemployment this year will help it move up to the seventh-happiest of the bunch, two spots better than a year ago, the surveys showed.

As for the U.S., size isn't everything. The world's largest economy places a not-too-shabby eighth-happiest on the 2015 misery ranking, with still-elevated joblessness holding it back from medal contention. GDP per-capita will be behind only Norway and Hong Kong this year, the IMF projectsR

Source: Bloomberg News Survey

Note: Figures reflect the latest research, private forecasts and survey data compiled by Bloomberg as of Feb. 27.


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