Singapore is world’s most expensive city for third year in a row, says EIU report

For the third year running, Singapore is the world’s most expensive city in the world, though Zurich and Hong Kong are a very close joint second, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Singapore has a score of 116, just ahead of Zurich and Hong Kong’s 114, in the EIU’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living report 2016, a twice yearly survey that 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.

This survey allows human resource line managers and expatriate executives to compare the cost of living in different countries around the world. This, in turn, will allow hiring companies to calculate a fair remuneration package for relocating employees.

Singapore, according to the EIU, is consistently expensive in terms of buying and running a car. Transport costs in Singapore are 2.7 times higher than New York. It is also an expensive place to buy clothes and pay for utilities.

However, in terms of basic groceries, Singapore offers the same value as New York, unlike Seoul, which is 33 per cent more expensive.

London was sixth and New York seventh on the list that compares the cost of a basket of more than 160 items – from food, toiletries and clothing to domestic help, transport and utility bills – across 133 cities.

Paris was the only euro-zone city this year to stay in the top-ten, but it slipped three places to rank as the world’s fifth most expensive city, the survey found, citing weak confidence in the euro.

“The stronger U.S. dollar and weaker euro has pushed euro zone cities further down the ranking, especially as weak consumer sentiment and depressed commodity prices have undermined inflation in terms of both supply and demand,” the EIU said.

The EIU said India and Pakistan accounted for five of the 10 least expensive cities in the world.

The cheapest cities to live in were Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, followed by Bangalore and Mumbai in India, the EIU said.