A new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) revealed that Singapore is no longer the most expensive city to live in – just one of them.
For the first time in more than 30 years since the study began, three cities – Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris – now share the title. Singapore and Hong Kong are both 7 per cent more expensive than New York.
Released on Tuesday, March 19, the report also revealed that Asian cities tend to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping. On the other hand, European cities tend to have the highest costs in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories. Zurich and Geneva are the most expensive in these categories.
The changes in ranking suggest that pricey global cities are growing more alike, said the report's author, Ms Roxana Slavcheva. "Converging costs in traditionally more expensive cities ... is a testament to globalisation and the similarity of tastes and shopping patterns. Even in locations where shopping for groceries may be relatively cheaper, utilities or transportation prices drive up overall cost of living," she said.
EIU noted that there are already indications of further changes that are set to take place, with global growth slowing further this year and reaching its nadir in 2020. "External conditions deteriorated late last year owing to the US-China trade war and externalities related to this are expected to continue throughout 2019."
In addition, 2019 could see the fallout from a number of political and economic shocks having a deeper effect.
The UK has already seen sharp declines in the relative cost of living owing to the Brexit referendum and related currency weaknesses, the report noted. In the coming year, these are expected to translate into further price rises as supply chains become more complicated and import costs rise.