Daily life in Zurich, Switzerland on October 28, 2020.
Piotr Piwowarski | NurPhoto | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Zurich and Paris ousted Singapore and Osaka in a recent report on the world’s most expensive cities. The two Asian cities previously joined Hong Kong at the top of the rankings.
That is based on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest global cost of living index This shows how the coronavirus pandemic affected the prices of goods and services in more than 130 cities in September 2020.
According to the report, the jump from Zurich and Paris to first place was due to the strengthening of the Swiss franc and the euro.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to weaken, while Western European and North Asian currencies have risen against the US dollar, which in turn has shifted the prices of goods and services,” said Upasana Dutt, head of global Cost of Living at The EIU. New York City is used as the base city in the index.
“Asian cities have traditionally dominated the rankings for the past few years, but the pandemic has reshuffled the rankings for this edition.”
In Singapore, now ranked fourth, prices fell due to an exodus of foreign labor, the report said.
“With the city-state’s total population declining for the first time since 2003, demand has fallen and deflation has set in. There have been similar trends in Osaka, with consumer prices stagnating and the Japanese government subsidizing costs such as public transportation.” Osaka shares fifth place with Tel Aviv.
Prices for most goods and services have been “pretty flat” over the past year, but certain categories have been affected due to the Covid-19 crisis, the EIU said.
The cost of essential products such as food and water remained “resilient”, but low demand led to a sharp drop in clothing prices.
“Supply chain problems have also had different effects on different goods and have increased the price of high-demand products such as computers in some cities,” the report said.
Dutt said such trends could continue into 2021 as spending remains limited and pressure on prices.
“”Many budget conscious consumers will prioritize spending on basic groceries, home entertainment and faster internet access, “she said.” Big ticket items as well as clothing and recreation outside the home will continue to have problems. “