SEOUL, March 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The latest report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Worldwide Cost of Living 2017, labelled Seoul as the sixth most expensive city in the world in 2016 out of 133 major cities examined.
The EIU compared prices of over 150 products and services, using New York as a base city with a World Cost of Living index of 100. Singapore came in first at 120, for the fourth consecutive year. The Southeast Asian country was followed by Hong Kong (114), Zurich (113), Tokyo (110), and Osaka (109).
Following Seoul (108) were Geneva (107), Paris (107), New York (100), and Copenhagen (100).
Overall, last year was marked by a resurgence of East Asian cities and a decline in Europe, with half of the top ten cities coming from either East or Southeast Asian countries. Eight European cities made the list ten years ago.
As for Seoul (108), it leaped up two spots from 2015, and 44 spots from 1999 when it ranked 50th. The South Korean capital was particularly expensive for groceries, almost 50 percent costlier than New York.
A loaf of bread (1kg) had an average price of $14.82, and a bottle of wine (750ml), $26.54, both ranking first among the top ten most expensive cities.
On the contrary, the cheapest city was Almaty, Kazakhstan (38), followed by Lagos (39) and Bangalore (42). Four Indian cities were included in the list of the top ten cheapest cities with the other three being Chennai (45), Mumbai (45), and New Delhi (47).
Manchester (77), Buenos Aires (66) and London (89) were the biggest movers down the ranking from last year’s report, by 25, 20 and 18 spots, respectively, while Sao Paolo (67), Rio de Janeiro (65) and Wellington (92) were the biggest movers up, by 29, 27 and 26 places.
Chinese cities – Beijing (-16), Suzhou (-16), Guangzhou (-13), Tianjin (-13), and Dalian (-11) – saw big drops over the past twelve months as well due to lower purchasing power with the decline of the Chinese yuan.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)