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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 9:06pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong ranked 13th most expensive city in global cost-of-living survey

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2014, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 March, 2014, 12:59pm

Hong Kong has scaled another rung on the cost-of-living ladder to become the 13th most expensive city to live in, an Economist Intelligence Unit survey shows.

Currency appreciation and inflationary pressures drove the city up the think tank's Worldwide Cost of Living index from last year's 14th place.

But in Asia, the city fell one position instead to 5th place, behind Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney and the new title holder for the most expensive city in the world to live in - Singapore.

The widening gap in cost of living between Singapore and Hong Kong could make the latter a more attractive destination for multinational companies looking to relocate employees, Edward Bell, senior commodities economist at the EIU, said.

"From a cost perspective, if comparing the two key financial hubs, our findings show that Hong Kong would be the relatively cheaper place," he said.

The minor rise in Hong Kong's ranking generally reflected stable inflation in the city's cost of living, Bell said.

Singapore, on the other hand, saw a significant rise in costs this year because of higher structural costs such as transport, fuel and a stronger currency, he said.

The twice-yearly study looks at the prices, in US dollars, of 160 products and services in 140 cities across the world. These include food, alcohol, tobacco, toiletries, private schools, entertainment, clothing, domestic help, transport and utilities. Housing and rental costs are excluded from the survey.

The purpose of the survey is to calculate cost-of-living allowances and rationalise compensation packages for expatriates, the think tank says.

The weaker yen in Japan pushed Tokyo down from first place last year to sixth this year, and Osaka from second last year to Hong Kong's previous rank of 14 this year.

Chinese University economics professor Wallace Mok Kai-chung said he was not surprised about the findings.

He said the average salaries of Singaporeans had risen sharply over the years, and had now surpassed the wages of Hongkongers. With higher salaries came higher costs of commodities, Mok said.

In mainland China, meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise. Almost all mainland cities climbed from their rankings last year.

The most expensive among them was Shanghai, which climbed nine spots to 101 on the worldwide index, surpassing New York City.

"Wage inflation has driven up local prices, but internationally, the impact of a stronger renminbi has also been felt," Jon Copestake, the report's editor, said.

The survey uses New York as its base city, carrying an index of 100. All other cities are compared to it.


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How ridiculous! Useless pointless survey
What is the major expense of living in Hong Kong = RENT from the greedy grabbing unregulated landlords
"Housing and rental costs are excluded from the survey.
The purpose of the survey is to calculate cost-of-living allowances and rationalise compensation packages for expatriates, the think tank says"
So they are to be paid in local currencies when the HK$ is kept artificially low & its buying power inadequate.
"The twice-yearly study looks at the prices, in US dollars"
So why not in EUROS or GBP or another strong currency ?
This survey is a total waste of money without housing costs, this is a cost factor multinational companies will look at as they will have to foot the bill for their expats housing or at least a big chunk of it. But then again journalist are happy to jump on the bandwagon without thinking. In the Dutch newspaper the Telegraaf they were even writing "Singapore city, the capitol of Singapore now most expensive city in the world" Must be an alien they have as an editor there
Totally IRRELEVANT if 'housing and rental costs are excluded from the survey'. Duh.........
also alcoholic beverage or 'sin' tax is much higher in Singapore :)
It is indeed surprising that Singapore's cost of living is higher than Hong Kong. I hope this can be an opportunity to Hong Kong, attracting more foreign companies. So, we can rely less on the mainland tourists.
Singapore imposes heavy levies on car ownership compared to other cities like Hong Kong, New York, London or Tokyo. It's the most expensive place in the world to own a car. Nothing new. Same for the 25% appreciation of the Singdollar over the last 10 years, not 40% Strange that these two factors should be cited as key for the city-state's top ranking. In fact, the license to own a car has fallen off. If those doing the surveys take public transportation as a base case, which is used by the majority of residents in all metropolises, the cost between Singapore and Hong Kong are about the same, but most certainly lower than in New York, London and Tokyo. Similarly a stronger currency is good for those who earn their salary in Singapore dollar but not those who collect their in USD. Lastly housing, certainly cheaper to rent in Singapore than in Hong Kong. This survey is clearly aimed at expats earning their salaries in USD, most certainly not locals. They should be very transparent about this, but sadly, they prefer not to
" Housing and rental costs are excluded from the survey" not only this does not makes senses as hk is the most expensive in rental, but this also implies something. What? This implies giving we have the highest rent in the world, somehow the society is distorted to pay the landlord high price, but press down the general labor cost to get us on the 13 ranking, that's why we have such as wealth poor gap.
It is not easy to compare, to be honest. But I don't think that the cost of living in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing can be lower than HK that far.
tja.. maar wie leest de telegraaf


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