Singapore tops the list as the world's most costliest city
Hong Kong seems to have missed the privilege of being named the most expensive city, as that honour was given to Singapore, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey.
Instead Hong Kong was moved up a notch to 13th place thanks to currency appreciation and inflationary pressures, and the city was behind Sydney (5), Melbourne (6) and Tokyo (6).
Chinese University economics professor Wallace Mok Kai-chung was not surprised by the findings. He said the average salaries of Singaporeans had risen sharply over the years and surpassed the wages of Hong Kong people. And with the rise in wages came more expensive commodities, said Mok.
Edward Bell, senior commodities economist with EIU believes that the gap between Singapore and Hong Kong now makes the latter a more appealing place to live.
"From a cost perspective, if comparing the two key financial hubs, our findings show that Hong Kong would be the relatively cheaper place," he said.
Bell added the slight rise in Hong Kong's ranking meant that the city had stable inflation in the cost of living.
The biannual study looks at the prices in US dollars of 140 cities of 160 products and services, such as food, alcohol, tobacco, toiletries, private schools, entertainment, clothing, domestic help and transport. Housing and rental costs are not included in the survey. If that was the case Hong Kong might possibly be neck-and-neck with Singapore.
In any event Hong Kong still feels expensive even if the EIU doesn't think it is as costly as Singapore.