Cost of living is a hot topic for British Columbians, but citizens of some Asian cities can claim they have the most to worry about according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017, released by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Five of the six most expensive cities in the world are located in Asia, with Singapore taking first place, followed by Hong Kong, Zurich, Tokyo, Osaka, and Seoul.
The report compared the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 cities worldwide to produce the list of the world’s most costly cities. Report findings are chiefly used by human resource managers to calculate compensation packages for overseas postings.
Last year, devaluations and deflation were a prominent factor in determining the cost of living, and many cities fell down the ranks due to falling local prices or weakening currencies; however, this year both currencies and prices have rallied. As with the previous year, oil and commodity prices continue to affect the cost of living.
Notably, European metropolises have steadily been falling down the list, making up eight of the ten most expensive cities a decade ago, but currently accounting for just four. Amid concerns related to Brexit and the depreciation of the pound sterling, London, at number 24, is in the lowest position in 20 years. While New York placed at number 9 (the only North American city to hold a place within the top ten) and Los Angeles at number 11, American cities too, continue to fall in the rankings.
Vancouver is the most expensive Canadian city on the list at number 39, and is tied with diverse international cities such as Dusseldorf, Barcelona, Brussels, and Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia. Other Canadian cities to make the list are Montreal at number 62 (tied with Istanbul and Dubai) and Toronto at 86.
The report notes more changes in pricing are anticipated in the year ahead, reflecting the impact of political and economic change, continuing low oil prices, rebounding commodity prices, as well as measures in China to address growing levels of private debt, which could slow consumption and affect global outcomes.
Leah Giesbrecht is a communications coordinator with the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.
Interested in learning more about how British Columbians fare against their provincial counterparts?CPABC’s BC Check-up 2016 report compares what it’s like to work, live, and invest in BC versus Alberta or Ontario.
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