Singapore has become even more expensive for expatriates to live in, climbing from ninth spot in Asia to No. 8. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
OVER the past six months, Singapore has become even more expensive for expatriates to live in, climbing from ninth spot in Asia to No. 8, said the latest cost of living survey from ECA International.
Rising prices and the strengthening of the Singapore dollar against major currencies propelled Singapore in the cost of living stakes from 79th position globally to 42nd over the past year.
That means it is more expensive for expatriates to live in Singapore than Central London which is ranked 50th worldwide, but not New York, which came in at No.39, based on ECA's latest twice-yearly survey, released on Thursday.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. ECA International regional director for Asia Lee Quane said the rise in Singapore's cost of living is a double-edged sword.
'For companies bringing senior talent into Singapore, the cost of an assignment will increase as higher allowances are required to maintain employees' purchasing power. On the other hand, companies sending employees out of Singapore can apply lower cost of living allowances and still provide sufficient remuneration to maintain a good standard of living.'
The difference between the cost of living in Singapore and that of Hong Kong, the sixth most expensive city in Asia, is also rapidly narrowing, he noted. Two years ago there was a 15 per cent gap in the cost of living between Hong Kong and Singapore. This gap fell to 7 per cent a year ago and now stands at just 2 per cent.