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Top 10 World’s Most Expensive Cities In 2023: Singapore Reigns Supreme Once Again

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(CTN News) – In an unsurprising development for those feeling financial strain, the global cost of living crisis persists, particularly affecting residents of major cities.

The annual Worldwide Cost of Living Index, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), reveals a 7.4% increase in the average cost of living this year, with grocery prices experiencing the sharpest surge.

While this uptick is slightly lower than the 8.1% recorded in 2022, it still significantly exceeds historical trends. The good news comes in the form of utility prices, which, after being the fastest risers in the 2022 survey, exhibited the least inflation this time.

In terms of inflation predictions, the pace of price increases is slowing due to the alleviation of supply chain issues following China’s removal of Covid-19 restrictions in late 2022. However, grocery prices continue to climb as retailers pass on increased costs to consumers.

Upasana Dutt, Head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU, anticipates a continued deceleration of inflation in 2024 as the lagged impact of interest rate hikes affects economic activity and, consequently, consumer demand.

Dutt also cautions about the upside risks posed by armed conflict and extreme weather.

Escalations in the Israel-Hamas conflict could drive up energy prices, and a more significant-than-expected impact from El Niño might further elevate food prices.

The inevitable consequence of rising living costs is that many cities have become more expensive to reside in, with some experiencing a more significant impact than others.

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The World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities For 2023

  • 1. Singapore — tie
  • 1. Zurich — tie
  • 3. Geneva — tie
  • 3. New York — tie
  • 5. Hong Kong
  • 6. Los Angeles
  • 7. Paris
  • 8. Copenhagen, Denmark — tie
  • 8. Tel Aviv — tie
  • 10. San Francisco

Singapore and Switzerland’s Zurich have been named the most expensive cities in the world, tying for the top spot.

Zurich’s rise from sixth place on the previous year’s list is attributed to the strength of the Swiss Franc and high prices for groceries, household goods, and recreation. Singapore’s expensive transport and clothing also contributed to its top ranking.

In the list of the world’s most liveable cities for 2023, New York, which tied with Singapore for first place last year, slipped to third, tying with Switzerland’s Geneva.

Hong Kong, the only other Asian destination in the top 10, secured the fifth spot, while Los Angeles ranked sixth, and Paris was named the seventh most expensive city globally.

Tel Aviv (Israel) and Copenhagen (Denmark) shared eighth place, and San Francisco, one of three U.S. cities in the top 10, rounded off the list in 10th place.

Noteworthy movements include Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, which saw sharp drops in rankings, falling 105 and 74 places, respectively, due to the considerable drop in the value of the ruble following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The survey also highlighted the impact of slow post-pandemic recovery and subdued consumer demand on Chinese cities, leading to a decline in rankings.

The survey, which excluded Venezuela’s Caracas due to a significant price increase since 2022, identified Damascus, Syria, as the world’s cheapest city, with Tehran, Iran, and Tripoli, Libya, ranking near the bottom.

When it comes to cost categories, utility, domestic help, and tobacco costs were highest in U.S. cities, while Western European cities ranked among the most expensive for recreation, transport, and household goods. Asian cities topped the list for groceries and alcohol costs.

The 2023 Worldwide Cost of Living surveyed 173 major cities, comparing over 400 individual prices across 200 products and services.

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