SINGAPORE retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for a fourth consecutive year, according to the latest cost-of-living surveyfrom the Economist Intelligence Unit, our sister company. The survey, which compares the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 cities around the world and is primarily used by human resources managers to calculate compensation packages for overseas postings, found that Singapore was 20% more expensive than New York and 5% pricier than Hong Kong, which lies in second place.
A sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen has led to rising costs in Osaka and Tokyo. Asia now hosts five out of the six most expensive cities in the world. This contrasts with a gradual drop down the rankings for European cities, which made up eight of the ten most expensive places a decade ago and now account for just four. In Britain the depreciation of sterling after the Brexit referendum has helped push London and Manchester sharply down the rankings; London is at its lowest position in 20 years.
American cities have fallen down the rankings, too, although they still remain comparatively expensive compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked in 46th position. San Francisco and Lexington, Kentucky were the only American cities out of the 16 surveyed to move up the rankings.