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Economy

Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris tie for most expensive cities

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2019-03-20 08:24:05China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

Hong Kong and Paris are now tied with Singapore as the world's most-expensive cities to live, the first time that three cities have been tied for first place in the 30-year history of the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. 

Hong Kong moved up three places to join Singapore, which has been the world's most-expensive place to live for the last five years. Paris, which has been one of the top 10 since 2003, moved up this year from the second most-expensive last year. Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong are all 7 per cent more expensive to live than New York, the benchmark city.

The survey released on Tuesday compares the cost of 160 items, such as food, drink, transport, utility bills, and rent, in 133 cities. The top 10 most expensive cities are largely dominated by Asian and European cities.

Japan's Osaka moved up six positions, and now shares fifth place with Switzerland's Geneva.

New York and Los Angeles are the only North American cities in the top 10, with the Big Apple rising six spots to seventh place, a position it shares with Denmark's Copenhagen.

Los Angeles was named the 10th most-expensive city in the world, along with Israel's Tel Aviv. San Francisco has also become a more expensive place to live, rising 12 positions to 25th place.

The cost of living in the UK has also increased. A surge in domestic prices, pushing London up eight positions to 22nd, is a main factor.

According to the survey, US cities were among the priciest when it came to utilities and domestic help.

Swiss cities Zurich and Geneva, coming in at fourth and joint fifth (with Osaka) respectively, had the highest costs when it came to household, personal care, recreation and entertainment expenses.

Turkey's Istanbul has become considerably less expensive, dropping 48 places to 120th on the list due in part to the decrease in value of Turkish lira. Moscow is down 16 spots to 102nd.

The cheapest cities to live in were largely made up of those experiencing political or economic disruption (or both in same cases). Caracas, Venezuela's capital was at the very bottom of the list this year, a position previously occupied by Damascus in war-torn Syria. Deteriorating economic conditions in Venezuela and hyperinflation are at the root of its position on the list.

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