Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Singapore now the world’s most expensive city

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.

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Singapore is ‘World’s Costliest City To Live In’

The Republic has become the world’s most expensive city to live in, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) showed yesterday, but local economists said Singapore will remain attractive for foreign businesses and expatriates with its good governance, robust infrastructure and quality workforce.

In the latest EIU report, Worldwide Cost of Living, Singapore jumped five spots from last year to go to the top of a list of 131 cities, ahead of Paris in second place and Oslo in third, while Tokyo — last year’s first — dropped to sixth due to a sharply weaker yen.

This marks a huge leap from a decade ago when the Republic ranked 18th in the same survey. But the EIU described Singapore’s rise as “steady rather than spectacular”, due partly to the 40 per cent appreciation in the local currency in 10 years.

Singapore 60th in terms of cost of living for average residents: ACI
Rising costs for expatriates mostly due to appreciation of Singapore dollar, says Asia Competitiveness Institute

Following a study earlier this month that ranked Singapore as the costliest city for expatriates to live in, the Asia Competitiveness Institute (ACI) is considering the creation of a new affordability index to better reflect the cost of living for average citizens.

This index will cover four areas which affect average citizens the most, such as healthcare, edcuation, housing and transport, said ACI Co-Director Tan Khee Giap, allowing the Government to monitor costs of living and plan subsidies in a sustainable way.

He was speaking to the press during a conference where the Institute showed research results indicating that Singapore is only 60th in the world in terms of cost of living for average residents.

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Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living
The government will provide $360 million of additional support to help households especially lower-income groups and retirees cope with their cost of living

There will be a special GST Voucher - Cash: Seniors' Bonus for Singaporeans aged 55 and above - effectively doubling the amount usually received.

Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam explains:." Older Singaporeans are broadly most affected by increase in cost of living, especially retirees with little or no incomes."

The amount they will receive range from $100 to $250 depending on an assessable income of up to $26,000.

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Singapore, the Most Expensive City in the World
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– Musings From the Lion City: Singapore; World’s Costliest City
– Vicky Grueber: Dear Singapore
– Blogging for Myself: Really, SG is most expensive city?
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– My Singapore News: World’s most expensive city!
– Neurotic Ramblings of a Sg Couple: 5 things more expensive in Australia than in SG
– The Little Things Yvonne & Janelle Do: Spore named the world’s most expensive city
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