ECA International has released its annual Salary Trends survey, which analyzes salary increases across more than 70 countries and cities worldwide.

The survey found that real salary increases in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region outperformed the rest of the world in 2023. In ASEAN, Vietnam had the highest salary growth of 3.6% in real terms, followed by Thailand at 3.5%.

Key findings

  • Real salary increases in the APAC region once again took the lead in 2023, outperforming the rest of the world and securing top positions in the rankings.
  • Vietnam led the way in ASEAN in 2023 with a salary growth of 3.6% in real terms, a rate that is forecast to be the same in 2024.
  • Thailand salaries increased by 3.5% in 2023 in real terms and are expected to grow further by 3.4% in real terms in 2024

The survey also highlighted that Thailand saw salary decreases in real terms in 2022 due to inflation but is now experiencing positive salary growth. Overall, the APAC region is expected to have an average real salary increase of 2.2% in 2024, double the global average.

“Thailand was one of the few locations in Southeast Asia where inflation went above median salary increases in 2022, meaning employees saw salary decreases in real terms. However, we are seeing returns to positive salary growth this year and with lower inflation projected for next year, real salary increases should continue next year,”

Mark Harrison, General Manager, Asia for ECA International.

Top 10 forecast real salary increases – Asia Pacific

RankingCountry2024 forecast real salary increase (%)2023 real salary increase (%)
10Korea Republic2.21.1
Source : Home – ECA International (

APAC Highlights

According to the survey, the APAC region is expected to experience an average real salary growth rate of 2.2% in 2024, which is more than double the global average of 1%. Majority of the surveyed locations in the region are likely to maintain or exceed their 2023 real salary growth rates in 2024, except for Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Rates of salary growth across ASEAN countries vary. In Malaysia, salaries increased by 2.1% in 2023 in real terms and are expected to grow further by 2.3% in real terms in 2024. Vietnam led the way in ASEAN in 2023 with a salary growth of 3.6% in real terms, a rate which is forecast to be the same in 2024. In Singapore, real wages fell by 1.5% in 2023 and are expected to rise once again in 2024, where workers will see an 0.5% increase in real wages.

Global highlights

Globally, the average salary increase in nominal terms was 5.0% this year and is forecast to be the same in 2024. Inflation rates are expected to fall from an average of 5.5% this year to 3.6% next year. After factoring in inflation, globally salaries fell by 0.9% on average in real terms in 2023, but they are expected to return to growth in 2024 where average salaries will grow by 1.0% in real terms.

Europe continues to trail other regions globally for real salary increases, where at 0.9% salaries will grow at less than half of the 2.2% increase in real terms anticipated for employees in Asia in 2024. Salaries in the UK fell by 2.7% this year in real terms. Nevertheless, with the anticipated decrease in inflation from 7.7% in 2023 to 3.7% in 2024, real salaries in the UK are forecast to rise by 1.3% next year.

About the author

Boris Sullivan is a business news editor based in Hong Kong. He has over 15 years of experience in covering the latest trends and developments in the Asian markets, as well as the global economy.


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