ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore is the costliest city in the world for 5 years in a row

But in 10 years, prices of bread, wine, and smokes are expected to fall.

In 2018 Singapore retains its title as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year, leading a list that is largely split between Asia and Europe, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Limited revealed.

According to its Cost of Living Survey, Paris and Zurich closely followed Singapore in the rankings. In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong and Sydney join Singapore and Seoul in the top ten. Low inflation has pushed Tokyo and Osaka out of the top ten, whilst Seoul is the only other city in the top ten that has maintained its ranking from the previous year.

EIU noted that despite topping the ranking, Singapore still offers relative value in some categories, especially compared with its regional peers. “For categories such as personal care, household goods and domestic help Singapore remains significantly cheaper than its peers, but it remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car and the third-priciest destination in which to buy clothes. In terms of food and drink, the cost of living in Singapore is on a par with that of Shanghai in China. Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong are the three most expensive places in the world to buy staple goods.”

Also read: Singapore ranked 24th costliest city for expats

In Singapore, the average price of 1 kg of a loaf of bread (in US$) is US$3.7, lower than France (US$6.3), Zurich (US$5.3), and Hong Kong (US$4.2). It rose from US$3.55 last year. EIU forecasts the price to fall to US$2.67 in the next 10 years.

The average price of one bottle of table wine in the country is currently one of the most expensive amongst the top 10 (US$23.7), only slightly behind the price in Seoul (US$27). It stayed the same as last year’s price. Fortunately for wine lovers, the price of the drink is expected to dip to US$20.77 in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, a pack of smokes currently costs US$9.7, relatively higher compared to Seoul (US$3.9) and Hong Kong (US$7.3). The highest price is in Sydney at US$23.9. In 10 years, the price is Singapore is expected to fall to US$7.6.

A litre of unleaded petrol in Singapore currently costs US$1.6 and is expected to dip to US$1.2 in 10 years. There weren’t many differences in the prices across the top 10 countries, the highest price is in Oslo (US$2), whilst the lowest is in Sydney (98 US cents). 

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