Singapore named world's costliest city for 3rd straight year: EIU

Singapore named world's costliest city for 3rd straight year: EIU

SINGAPORE - Singapore is top again, but it may not exactly be such a good thing this time.

The city-state has once again been named the world's most expensive city by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.

The survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services, including prices of food and drinks, clothing, household supplies, transport and other costs.

Singapore topped the ranking for the third straight year, even though inflation was at its lowest level in three decades last year.

The publication noted that Singapore's lead over Zurich and Hong Kong, ranked joint second in this year's survey, has nearly evaporated.

The EIU highlighted that Singapore is the most expensive place in the world to run a car due to the Certificate of Entitlement system, while transport costs were 2.7 times higher than Hong Kong.

But it also pointed out that Singapore still offers relative value in certain categories, such as general basic groceries where it is cheaper than cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul.

In 2014, Singapore was also ranked the priciest city in the world by the EIU. The ranking prompted then-Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to clarify that such studies compare costs of living for expatriates, and do not reflect the cost of living for locals. "It's not that these surveys are wrong, it's not that they are misguided. They're measuring something quite different from the cost of living for an ordinary local," he said then.

After the top three, other countries in the top 10 of the list include Geneva, Paris, London, New York, Copenhagen, Seoul and Los Angeles.

Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne, that were previously in the top 10, fell off this year due to the weakeend Australian dollar.

Singapore is no stranger to being placed at or near the top of various worldwide rankings.

Just last month, global human resource consultancy Mercer named Singapore as the top city in Asia, and 26th out of 230 cities worldwide, in terms of quality of living.

Meanwhile, it also held on to its decade-long place at the top of the World Bank's ease of doing business index last year.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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