Singapore now the 30th most expensive country for expats

Published:  6 Dec at 6 PM
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Having moved in 2013 from 31st place last year to 30th, Singapore is still well down from the leader, Caracas, and price rises in the city state have slowed in recent months.

The results of ECA International’s latest Cost of Living survey also revealed that Singapore had slipped in the regional ranking from 8th to 9th, placing it behind Hong Kong for the first time in three years. ECA’s surveys are regarded as accurate due to the company’s position as providers of information and knowledge to businesses with employees on overseas assignments.

The slip in regional ranking, according to ECO director Lee Quane, is largely because the Singapore dollar has weakened against Hong Kong’s currency, which in turn is pegged to the US dollar. Measures to temper former rapid price rises in Singapore involved careful management of the dollar and, as inflation dropped, weakening of the dollar has been allowed.

According to Quayne, just five years ago Singapore had only just made the list of the top 100 most expensive world countries, and its rise over such a short period is causing concern amongst expat residents. Its Southeast Asian neighbours’ cost of living is lower, with Bangkok coming in at 26th, Jakarta at 27th, Vientiane at 28th and Kuala Lumpur at 30.

Tokyo is still Asian’s most expensive city for expats, globally ranked this year at no.10, a fall from the previous survey. Exchange rates, cost of living hikes and the availability of goods can play havoc with expat lifestyles, especially if they’re on an inflexible remuneration package.

Multinational companies should attempt to ensure expats employees’ spending power isn’t decimated during the term of their assignments, possibly by including a flexible cost of living allowance in their contracts. The survey compares a like-for-like basket of the usual expat services and goods involving 440 countries worldwide.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Otmane EL RHAZI wrote 9 years ago:

I agree it is getting more expensive out there. If anything it should get more expensive going forward.

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