Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore ranked as world's most expensive cities
Using New York City as its base, the report, Worldwide Cost of Living 2019, published Monday by the Economist Intelligence Unit, found that the living costs in all three cities were 7 percent higher than in the benchmark city, the first time that three cities have been tied for the first place in the survey.
The top 10 cities with the highest living cost are largely divided between Asia and Europe. Singapore is the only city that has maintained its ranking from the previous year, marking its sixth straight year at the top of the rankings, with Hong Kong lept three places and Paris climbed one to reach the top.
The report also revealed that the global cost of living has fallen to 69 percent of the cost in New York, down from 73 percent last year, remaining significantly lower than five years ago, when the average cost of living across the cities surveyed was 82 percent of the cost in the base city.
While inflation and devaluations were prominent factors in determining the cost of living, many cities surveyed tumbled down the ranking owing to economic turmoil, currency weakness or falling local prices, the report said.
In order to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers, the London-headquartered Economist Intelligence Unit has carried out the biannual survey for more than 30 years by comparing over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. ■