Sure, here is a paraphrase of the text: Singapore has retained its position as the most expensive city in the world, sharing the top spot with Zurich this year. This marks the ninth time in eleven years that Singapore has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living survey. Zurich, on the other hand, climbed from sixth place last year to secure the top spot alongside Singapore.
New York, which shared the top spot with Singapore last year, dropped to third place this year, sharing the position with Geneva. The EIU's twice-yearly survey, conducted from August 14 to September 11, 2023, compared over 400 individual prices across more than 200 products and services in 173 cities.
Singapore's high cost of living is attributed to expensive groceries, alcohol, clothing, and car ownership. Zurich's rise to the top spot is due to a strong currency and high prices for household items and recreational activities.
EIU analyst Syetarn Hansakul explained that Singapore, like Hong Kong, is a small city-state with a successful financial center, which drives up demand and subsequently prices. The survey also highlights that many cities are experiencing rising prices due to high inflation. Inflation rates have increased by 7.4% year-on-year, still higher than the trend from 2017 to 2021.
Hansakul noted that inflation in Asia is relatively lower than in other parts of the world, explaining why only two Asian cities are among the top ten most expensive. EIU expects inflation to continue to decelerate in 2024, but warns that further escalation in the Israel-Hamas war could drive up energy prices, and stronger-than-expected El Niño conditions could push food prices even higher.
The EIU's list also includes the biggest decliners, with Chinese and Japanese cities dropping due to the weakening Chinese yuan and Japanese yen. The top ten most expensive cities in the EIU's list include two Asian cities, four European cities, and three U.S. cities:
- Singapore (tie)
- Zurich (tie)
- Geneva (tie)
- New York (tie)
- Hong Kong
- Los Angeles
- Copenhagen, Denmark (tie)
- Tel Aviv (tie)
- San Francisco