British manpower resource distribution solution supplier, ECA International, have revealed that Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world for expatriates for the second year running.
Despite the fact that the actual price of goods in Japan as a whole have fallen over the past year, the cost of living in this Asian city remains significantly high when compared with other locations in the top rankings.
Elsewhere in Asia, the strength of the Singapore dollar, which has risen more than 10% against the US dollar in one year, has pushed Singapore up further in the rankings to become the 6th most expensive city in Asia in which to live. As such, Singapore is now a more expensive expatriate destination than Hong Kong, New York, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Shanghai.
According to ECA International, the cost of goods and services in Singapore has risen at much faster rates than other cities in Asia over the course of the past year, with average prices now being 3% more in Singapore than they are in Hong Kong. This represents a significant turnaround from last year’s results, in which Hong Kong prices were measured as 5% more than those in Singapore. It is the first time in the history of the survey that Singapore has emerged as a more expensive destination for expatriates than Hong Kong.
As a result of a weakened U.S. dollar, no U.S. city was named in the top thirty cities in the world in which to live. While Manhattan previously enjoyed a rank of 28, this year it fell 16 places to position number 44, making it a cheaper expatriate destination than Canadian neighbors Toronto (37) and Vancouver (42). According to Lee Quane, ECA International's regional director for Asia, the slip in rankings for US based cities may be a positive sign for the country: "If the U.S. continues to be relatively cost-effective in an international context, we will see companies pay more attention to whether they are saving money by expanding operations in places like Asia if the cost of living in these places is increasing," he said.
Despite their association with high-class lifestyles, cities within the United Arab Emirates have actually become more affordable places to live over the last year according to ECA survey findings. Dubai was positioned as the 175th most expensive city in the world in which to live and Abu Dhabi is now the 191st most expensive city globally.
ECA’s survey was carried out across 400 cities in March. Their annual cost of living index is calculated using price surveys pertaining to a basket of everyday goods and services that an average expatriate would purchase. The index excludes costs relating to accommodation, cars, school fees and utilities.
Read the full article: http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110608/world-s-most-expensive-cities-2011/
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