Singapore to stay expensive for expats but acceptable for citizens

Published:  1 Apr at 6 PM
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Singapore’s strong currency is likely to continue putting pressure on expats living in the city, but inflation is expected to be manageable for its citizens.

A study by the Asia Competitiveness Institute research centre has revealed that expat workers in the country are likely to find the cost of living a serious drain on their finances. However, average Singaporeans are expected to be able to manage price increases as long as the government monitors costs such as education, housing and healthcare.

In 2012, Singapore was rated as the most expensive world city for expat living, and a recent Economist Intelligence survey confirmed its position in 2013 as the planet’s costliest conurbation. The city knocked Tokyo off its unpopular post, and looks to continue at the top of the list.

At the same time, the 2012 survey noted that, although Singapore was the most expensive city for expats, it came in at 60th position for average residents' living costs. The difference between expat lifestyles and the lifestyles of average Singaporeans is reputed to centre on the cost of Western-style dining out for expats versus the local foods preferred by the man in the street.

According to financial experts, the Singapore dollar is expected to stay strong for at least the rest of 2014, continuing to affect expat workers from the USA whose salaries are paid in US dollars. The currency has gained 25 per cent against the US dollar since 2005.
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