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    Mar 11, 2016

    Singapore still priciest city for expats: EIU

    For the third year in a row, Singapore has retained the title of the world's most expensive city for expatriates, despite experiencing its longest spell of declining consumer prices since the 1970s.

    The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in its 2016 worldwide cost of living survey released yesterday, ranked Singapore as the costliest ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris.

    London was sixth and New York seventh on the list that compares the cost of a basket of more than 160 items - from food, toiletries and clothing to domestic help, transport and utility bills - across 133 cities.

    The cheapest cities to live in were Lusaka, capital of Zambia, followed by Bangalore and Mumbai in India, the EIU said.

    The survey is designed to help human resource and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and come up with compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.

    Singapore was still the priciest city even though its cost of living when compared to costs in New York - used as the study's base city - has come down by 10 per cent from a year ago, the EIU said.

    It noted that costs across the world have been highly volatile because of the rising US dollar, currency devaluations and movements, and falling oil and commodity prices.

    The EIU said despite topping the ranking, Singapore offers relative value in some categories, especially compared with its regional peers.

    For general basic groceries, Singapore offers the same value as New York. This compares with Seoul, which is 33 per cent more expensive, Tokyo (26 per cent) and Hong Kong (28 per cent).

    However, Singapore remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, thanks to the Certificate of Entitlement system.

    Transport costs in Singapore are 2.7 times higher than in New York.

    Alongside Seoul, Singapore is also a very expensive city in which to buy clothes and pay for utility costs, said the EIU.