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People's Daily Online>>China Business

More costly to live in Beijing, Shanghai

(Shanghai Daily)

10:49, December 07, 2011

Beijing and Shanghai are now Asia's seventh and eighth most expensive places to live in, overtaking Hong Kong, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.

Singapore also overtook Hong Kong for the first time in at least 10 years, the Cost of Living Survey done by ECA International showed.

Beijing and Shanghai are more expensive now due to "significant price inflation" and a strong yuan. They are now the world's 35th and 41st most expensive cities, respectively, said Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International.

Tokyo remains the world's most expensive city to live in, while Hong Kong dropped 26 places to 58th position in the global ranking due to the weakness of its currency, which is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed rate. Hong Kong is now the ninth most expensive city in Asia.

Singapore rose by two places to sixth in Asia, and climbed from 42nd place globally a year ago to 31st spot now, on a strong Singapore dollar and relatively high inflation. It is now less expensive in Asia than only four Japanese cities and Seoul.

"When we look at the overall cost of ECA's basket of goods and services in Singapore a year ago these items were 1.7 percent less expensive in Singapore than when purchased in Hong Kong," Quane said. "Now those same items are 8.5 percent more expensive in Singapore than Hong Kong."

Quane said such increases may not deter companies from relocating staff to Singapore, but it does mean higher costs of sending staff to the city-state.

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