Singapore ranked world’s most expensive city again

Singapore is ‘the second-priciest destination in which to buy clothes,’ according the EIU report. — Reuters pic
Singapore is ‘the second-priciest destination in which to buy clothes,’ according the EIU report. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, March 21 — Singapore has once again emerged as the world’s most expensive city to live in for the fourth year running, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit showed.

The Worldwide Cost of Living for 2017 saw Asia dominate the top ranking with four cities in the top five spots — Singapore, Hong Kong (No. 2), Tokyo (No. 4), Osaka (No. 5) — flanking Swiss city Zurich, which took the third spot.

Seoul (No. 6), as well as European cities Geneva and Paris (tied at No. 7) and Copenhagen (No. 10), and New York (No. 9) rounded up the top 10.

The survey compares consumer prices across 160 products and services in 133 cities around the world.

“Despite topping the ranking, Singapore still offers relative value in some categories, especially compared with its regional peers,” said the EIU report.

“For categories such as personal care, household goods and domestic help, the Republic remained significantly cheaper than its peers.”

For example, the average price for a bottle of 750ml table wine is US$23.68 (RM104.90) in Singapore, lower than US$26.54 in Seoul. The average price for a 1kg loaf of bread is US$3.55 in Singapore, while it costs US$4.61 in Hong Kong, US$7.41 in Tokyo and US$14.82 in Seoul.

In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with Shanghai, the report added.

Singapore also “remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, as well as the second-priciest destination in which to buy clothes”.

Elsewhere on the index, it was Brazil which saw the fastest rise in terms of the relative cost of living, with Brazilian cities Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro making the biggest jumps — up 29 and 27 places, respectively, to the 78th and 86th spots.

Conversely, continued uncertainty from the Brexit referendum weighed on the strength of the British pound, pushing the UK cities of London (No. 24) and Manchester (No. 51, making the steepest drop of 25 places) down the ranking — with the British capital in its lowest position in 20 years.

At the bottom of the list, Almaty in Kazakhstan, ranked at 133, was the cheapest city to live in.

It was followed by Nigeria’s Lagos (No 132), India’s Bangalore (No 131), Karachi in Pakistan (No 130), as well as three cities tied at No 127: India’s Chennai and Mumbai, and Algiers in Algeria; and three more tied at No 124: New Delhi, Kiev in Ukraine and Bucharest in Romania.

The 30-year-old bi-annual survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. — TODAY

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