Retail in Asia


Which cities are the most expensive in Asia?

ECA conducted researchs on the latest cost of living in March and September. According to the reports, Singapore remained the world’s 13th most expensive city for expatriates to live in despite growing inflation, while Hong Kong remained the most expensive for the second year in a row.

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Despite major price increases in the previous 12 months, Singapore’s ranking remained unchanged in 2022, with housing rentals, utilities, and gasoline costs all seeing significant increases, according to the newest poll.

Mr Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International, said Singapore did not move up in the rankings because the Singapore dollar has weakened against other regional currencies like the Chinese renminbi and the US dollar, despite “higher than average” inflation here of 5 per cent.

In April, overall inflation in Singapore reached 5.4 percent year on year, while core inflation, which includes lodging and private transportation costs, increased to a 10-year high of 3.3 percent.

This caused Singapore’s Monetary Authority to tighten monetary policy for the third time in six months in April. The steps were made to support the Singapore dollar in the face of rising import prices.

Rising worldwide inflation has not been as difficult in Hong Kong as it has been in other regional and global locales. ECA International said prices in the territory rose 3 per cent year on year, as measured by ECA’s basket of goods and services.

“While the rise is higher than what is typically seen in Hong Kong, it is lower than rates in similar cities within the region and globally,” said Mr Quane.

Many mainland Chinese cities have risen in the rankings, with four currently among the top fifteen most expensive.

Shanghai, China’s financial capital, is the third most expensive city in Asia, behind Hong Kong and Tokyo, and the eighth most expensive city in the world.

The key reason for the increase, according to Mr Quane, is the renminbi’s ongoing strength against other major currencies as a result of China’s relatively robust economic performance throughout the survey period.

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The bulk of mainland Chinese cities have significant inflation, although it is still lower than elsewhere in Asia, he continued.