Home » Singapore and Zurich rank highest in terms of cost of living

Singapore and Zurich rank highest in terms of cost of living

by OnverZe
108 comments

According to this year’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey, prices for over 200 regularly used products and services increased by 7.4% year on year in local currency terms. This is a decrease from the previous year’s record 8.1% increase, but price growth remains much greater than the trend in 2017-21. Although this year’s study covers 173 of the world’s biggest cities, the global average was computed by removing Kyiv (which was not polled in 2022) and Caracas (which continues to endure hyperinflation), as was the case last year.

In this year’s poll, Singapore and Zurich were the most costly cities. Zurich jumped from sixth to first place, relegating New York (which tied for first place with Singapore the previous year) to third. Zurich, which has reclaimed first place after three years, has risen due to the strength of the Swiss franc, as well as high prices for food, household products, and amusement.

This year’s top ten includes two Asian cities (Singapore and Hong Kong), four European cities (Zurich, Geneva, Paris, and Copenhagen), three US cities (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), and Tel Aviv, Israel. Our poll was performed before to the start of the Israel-Hamas war, which influenced Israeli exchange rates and may have made it more difficult to obtain some commodities in Tel Aviv, hence impacting pricing.

Utility prices (home energy and water bills) have experienced the slowest global inflation of the eleven categories considered in our survey. This was the fastest-growing category in 2022, and the moderation signals that the energy price shocks triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be less severe. Groceries, on the other hand, experienced the fastest rate of price growth. Food inflation has been persistent around the world, as many manufacturers and retailers have passed on higher costs to customers, and the growing frequency of catastrophic weather events has kept supply-side concerns heightened.

In addition to alleviating supply-side tensions, the US Federal Reserve’s hardline monetary policy approach, according to our calculations, has helped lower inflation in the country. Furthermore, some other currencies have risen in value against the US dollar in 2023. Both of these reasons have resulted in the majority of the 22 US cities examined in our poll ranking lower. Even so, three American cities (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) are among the top 10. Prices in New York increased by 1.9%. Although some supermarket goods, such as eggs and beef, and recreational activities saw price rises, others, such as gasoline and apparel, stayed stable. 

Cities in Latin America and Western Europe, on the other hand, have risen. The Mexican towns of Santiago de Querétaro and Aguascalientes rose the most in the rankings, with the peso proving to be one of the strongest emerging market currencies in 2023 as interest rates rise and inbound investment increases. European cities in general have risen in the rankings as a result of persistent inflation as well as appreciation in the euro and other regional currencies. On average, price rises in Asia remain very low. This year, four Chinese cities (Nanjing, Wuxi, Dalian, and Beijing) and two Japanese cities (Osaka and Tokyo) were among the top movers in the ranking. 

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