Singapore has been ranked the most expensive city in the world for expats for the fourth consecutive year, according to a report published Monday by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU). The "Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017" saw Asian cities take five of the top 10 spots thanks to a sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen that propelled Tokyo and Osaka back into the top 10, alongside Singapore and Seoul. Western Europe accounted for a further four cities, with stalwarts Zurich and Geneva in the third and seventh positions, respectively. Paris, the only eurozone city, came in eighth and the Danish capital Copenhagen, which pegs its currency to the euro, rounded off the top 10. New York was the lone North American representative, falling to ninth place thanks to a slight weakening of the U.S. dollar, which also affected the position of other U.S. cities.
Despite topping the list, "Singapore still offers relative value in some categories, especially when compared to its regional peers," the report said. The city remains significantly cheaper in categories such as household goods, personal care and domestic help but is still the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, the report found. In contrast, Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka were the three most expensive places in the world to buy staple goods.
The report is produced twice a year and compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services that include food, rent, transport and recreational costs, among others. Istanbul ranked 62nd this year, outperforming 16 countries compared to last year. Istanbul's living cost index increased by 5 points to 72 points.
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