Singapore ranked second most expensive city in Asia, after Tokyo

Singapore has been ranked the second most expensive city in Asia, after Tokyo, with Hong Kong taking the third position.

In UBS’ Prices and Earnings 2009 study released on Thursday, Singapore is ranked 24th globally, in a comparison of living costs in 73 cities around the world. The study was based on data collected between March and April this year.

It found Oslo, Zurich, Copenhagen, Geneva, Tokyo and New York to be the world’s priciest cities based on a standardised basket of 122 goods and services. Mumbai, Delhi, Manila and Kuala Lumpur are cities with the lowest price levels.

The study said: “Asia is home to some of the world’s priciest cities and nowhere is the spread between most expensive and cheapest more pronounced.”

Employees in Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva and New York have the highest gross wages, but Zurich and Geneva top the rankings in the international comparison of net wages.

In Asia, employees in Tokyo earn the highest wages, and are ranked 18th globally. Their salaries are about two times higher than those in Singapore, which came in at 40th globally. Manila, Jakarta and Mumbai are at the bottom of the table.

As for working hours, people work the longest hours in Asia and the Middle East, and the shortest in France. People work an average of 1,902 hours a year in the surveyed cities, but those in Asian and Middle Eastern cities work an average of 2,119 and 2,063 hours a year respectively.

Overall, Cairo employees work the longest hours, averaging 2,373 hours a year, followed by Seoul with 2,312 hours. In comparison, people in Lyon and Paris spend the least amount of time at work – putting in about 1,582 and 1,594 hours a year respectively.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 20 Aug 2009

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