Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world, according to the latest study by the Economist Intelligence Unit. This is mainly due to the strong Singapore dollar and the high cost of cars, utilities and clothes, the research firm said.
"Singapore's rising price prominence has been steady rather than spectacular. The city-state was 18th most expensive ten years ago and has actually seen the cost of living compared with New York City decline over the last 12 months," it said in its report on Tuesday.
"However, over the last decade a 40 per cent currency appreciation, coupled with solid price inflation, has consistently pushed Singapore up the ranking."
The EIU Worldwide Cost of Living survey compares the cost of living in various cities around the world against that of New York.
Paris came in second place in the rankings, followed by Oslo, Zurich and Sydney.
Osaka and Tokyo, which used to top the list, have become much cheaper as the yen has weakened drastically over the past year. Tokyo is now tied with Caracas, Geneva and Melbourne for sixth place while Osaka is out of the top 10.
Singapore has some "structurally expensive items" that skew the overall cost of living upwards, the EIU noted. For example, car costs have very high related certificate of entitlement fees attached to them, which makes Singapore significantly more expensive than any other location when it comes to running a car.
With very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs.
The proliferation of luxury brands at Singapore's malls also make it the costliest place in the world to buy clothes.
This Worldwide Cost of Living survey is aimed at helping human resources line managers and expatriate executives to compare the cost of living in various cities around the world, so they can calculate fair compensation policies for relocating employees.
The survey gathers detailed information on the cost of more than 160 items, from food, toiletries and clothing to domestic help, transport and utility bills, in every city.
A cost-of-living index is calculated from the price data to express the difference in the cost of living between any two cities.