S’pore third most expensive city in Asia to live in: survey

Singapore has been ranked the third most expensive city to live in Asia and the sixth in the world.

This is according to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2013 survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The survey compares the cost of living among 131 cities worldwide using New York as a base city.

Its findings show that the relative cost of living in Asian hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong has moved higher.

This is largely due to rising wages and growth in the region, as well as the persistent weakness in Europe.

Tokyo tops the list again this year as the most expensive city to live in, thanks to Japanese deflation, a weaker yen and rising prices across the world.

Among the 27 Asian cities surveyed, Chinese cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen have seen the cost of living continue to rise.

This was fuelled by wage inflation, increasing demand for consumer goods and strict currency controls.

The Worldwide Cost of Living survey is carried out twice yearly.

It compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services.

These include food, drinks, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.

Meanwhile, economic growth has supported inflation and currency swings in Australian cities – placing Sydney and Melbourne at the third and fifth place in the top ten most costliest cities.

Editor of the report, Jon Copestake, said: “The cost of living in Europe has seen relative declines, thanks to economic austerity and currency fears. But Asian cities have also been rising on the back of wage growth and economic optimism. This means that over half of the 20 most expensive cities now hail from Asia and Australasia.”

However, Asia also remains host to six of the world’s ten cheapest cities – with Tehran clinching the top spot, followed by Jeddah.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Feb 2013

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