New survey suggests KL getting pricier to live and work in

Global human resource and institutional investment consulting firm Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey found that Kuala Lumpur rose four places to 141 from 145 on the backs of the movement of other cities. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Global human resource and institutional investment consulting firm Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey found that Kuala Lumpur rose four places to 141 from 145 on the backs of the movement of other cities. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Malaysia’s capital has risen by four places as the world’s 141 most expensive city to live and work in.

Global human resource and institutional investment consulting firm Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey found that Kuala Lumpur rose four places to 141 from 145 on the backs of the movement of other cities.

Eight of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities are currently located in Asia as a result of the region’s high costs for consumer goods and a dynamic housing market which has also created an impact on the pockets of expatriates in the continent.

“While Kuala Lumpur didn’t experience a rise in prices, currency fluctuations saw the Malaysian ringgit lose four per cent to the US dollar. Despite this, Kuala Lumpur rose slightly due to the movement of other cities,” said the firm’s press statement today.

Hong Kong tops the list as the world’s costliest city for the second consecutive year with the local housing market increasingly out of reach for many.

It remains as the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally as a result of the housing market and currency being pegged to the US dollar, driving up the cost of living locally.

The other seven Asian cities in the top 10 list are Tokyo which took second place, Singapore third, Seoul fourth place, Shanghai at number six, Beijing at number eight and Shenzhen taking the tenth place.

Mercer’s Global Mobility Practice Leader for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mario Ferraro said Asia continued to be a major engine of global economic growth.

“Despite the relatively high cost of living, many organisations still see a strong business rationale for moving talent into and within the region.

“At the same time, cost considerations are still an issue, and we are seeing an increased focus on having a clear business case for the assignment, as well as measuring the return on investment,” he said in the statement.

This year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

The statement explained that the figures for Mercer’s cost of living and rental accommodation cost comparisons were derived from a survey conducted in March 2019.

Exchange rates from that time and Mercer’s international basket of goods and services from its Cost of Living Survey have been used as base measurements.

Related Articles