Are you paying more for items in Singapore?

Are consumer items more expensive in Singapore than in other major cities? A study commissioned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI) looked into this question recently.

Published on April 29, the study surveyed 647 items sold by tech store Apple, furniture giant Ikea and fashion retailer Zara across 11 major cities including Singapore. The other cities were Paris, London, Shanghai, New York, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Sydney and Tokyo.

It found that shoppers here pay more for about two-thirds of the goods surveyed, but that Singapore was not the most expensive location for most of the items. For items that were pricier in Singapore than elsewhere, the price gap was generally not more than 20 per cent.

The MAS and MTI study did not release the prices of individual items that it surveyed, but The Straits Times did some online shopping to see how much Singapore consumers are paying compared with those in other countries.

Interestingly, while Zara's products seemed more consistently expensive in Singapore than in other cities, products from Apple and Ikea were cheaper here.

* Note: All prices include taxes where applicable. Conversions to Singapore dollars have been rounded off to two decimal places. The exchange rates used are as follows: S$1 to

- 81.4555 Japanese yen

- 0.8015 US dollar

- 6.2119 HK dollar

- 0.4718 British pound

- 0.5753 Euro

- 2.6040 Malaysian ringgit

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