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School Of Hard Knocks On Pawn-it Phuket

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PHUKET may seem to be thriving but one key economic indicator is the local pawn shop. Record amounts are being handed over for hocked items as parents pay for children going back to school.

The word from the local pawn shops is that there are signs of a slowing economy on the island.

According to Pataranut Woramid, manager of the tessaban-backed Pawnshop Phuket in Phuket City, an extra 50 million baht more than normal is to be loaned in April and May this year, most of it to anxious parents.

Up to five million baht a day changes hands.

In April and May 2007, a total of 13,540 people pawned items at the government store alone and took away 146,627,400 baht.

Khun Pataranut said this year, more people were coming than last year, an indication that the island's economy was not flourishing as many people claim it is.

Gold necklets and rings, mobile telephones, DVD players, television sets, watches and computers are the items most people hock when they need quick money.

full report at www.phuketwan.com

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