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Singapore now the world’s most expensive city: Economist

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 survey.
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 survey.
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living 2014 survey.
Lion City tops Economist Intelligence Unit list for the first time, bumping Tokyo from No 1 spot
Published: 11:30 AM, March 4, 2014

SINGAPORE — Singapore has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, according to the 2014 list released yesterday (this morning, March 4, Singapore time).

Singapore jumped five places from No 6 last year to top this year’s list after rising in the list in recent years. The city was ranked No 18 a decade ago in the EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

The Republic’s strong currency, which has appreciated about 40 per cent over the past decade, combined with soaring utility bills and the high cost of car ownership contributed to Singapore’s rise in the list, according to the EIU. Singapore is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.

Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney also made the top five of the EIU list. Tokyo, the most expensive city to live in for 2013, fell to joint sixth place alongside Caracas, Geneva and Melbourne. At No 10 is Copenhagen.

“Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world’s most expensive cities,” said Mr Jon Copestake, the editor of the EIU report.

“But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world’s cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent.”

Predominantly higher costs of groceries has been singled out as a reason for most Asian cities figuring highly in this year’s list, with Tokyo still at the top of the list for everyday food items.

The EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, which is published twice a year, compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services including food, clothing, household supplies, home rentals, transport and utility prices. All cities are compared against New York City as a base.

According to the EIU statement, the survey is meant to let human resource line managers and expatriate executives compare the cost of living in 140 cities in 93 countries, which would allow hiring companies to calculate a fair remuneration package for relocating employees.