Leading the way are Singapore and Zurich: the most expensive cities in the world and economic realities

By TravelWiseFeb 6, 2024 14:03 PMNews
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Leading the way are Singapore and Zurich: the most expensive cities in the world and economic realities
EIU ranks Singapore and Zurich as the world's most expensive cities in 2023. Source: Freepik

According to the annual Global Cost of Living Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the average cost of living increased by 7.4% this year, with a particularly noticeable surge in food prices. This growth is significantly higher than in all previous years.

The alleviation of supply chain issues after China lifted COVID-19 restrictions at the end of 2022 has decelerated utility price inflation. Meanwhile, food prices continue to climb as retailers transfer higher costs to consumers, as reported by NewsBytes.

According to CNN, Upasana Dutt, head of global cost of living at the EIU, predicts a slowdown in inflation in 2024 due to rising interest rates and the potential impact of conflicts and extreme weather.

Cities with the most expensive living in the world:

The rising cost of living affects cities in different ways, with some experiencing a more pronounced impact.

The EIU ranks Singapore and Zurich as the most expensive cities in the world in 2023. Zurich's rise, attributed to the strong Swiss franc and high prices for food and household goods, helped push New York down to third place, tying it with Geneva in fourth.

Hong Kong took fifth place, the only Asian city in the top ten, followed by Los Angeles in sixth place and Paris in seventh.

Tel Aviv and Copenhagen are tied for eighth place, although the study was conducted before the conflict between Israel and Hamas. San Francisco rounds out the top 10, emphasizing the strong presence of American cities.

Decline in China and Russia:

The Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg have significantly worsened their positions, dropping 105 places to 142 and 74 to 147, respectively, in this year's ranking.

The depreciation of the ruble following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was identified as a key factor.

In addition, Chinese cities, such as Beijing, are experiencing a downturn due to the slow recovery from the pandemic and depressed consumer demand.

Damascus is the most affordable city in the world:

There are significant differences in spending across regions, with US cities leading the way in terms of spending on utilities, domestic workers, and tobacco products. Meanwhile, Western European cities top the rankings for spending on recreation, transportation, and household goods.

Asian cities stand out for their high food and alcohol prices, creating a mosaic of the various economic challenges faced by residents around the world.

A 450% jump in prices:

To compile the 2023 Global Cost of Living Index, 173 major cities were studied in detail, carefully comparing more than 400 individual prices for 200 different goods and services.

It is worth noting that Venezuela's Caracas was excluded from the study due to a staggering 450% jump in prices since 2022, reflecting exceptional economic circumstances.

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