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Singapore is 8th priciest location in the world for expats

Just a notch above Hong Kong.

According to latest Cost of Living survey from ECA International, Singapore has dropped two places to become the region’s 8th most expensive location for expatriates, while retaining 31st position globally.

Here's more from ECA International:

This survey compared the year-on-year movement between September 2012 and September 2011 data. While Singapore has dropped down the regional ranking, globally it has maintained its position due to the movements of other locations worldwide.

For example, while Beijing (22) and Shanghai (26), are now more expensive than Singapore. Paris (42) and Rio de Janeiro (64) are now cheaper – largely a result of the weakening of their currencies against other Hong Kong has also leapt up the global rankings and is now just below Singapore.

Tokyo retains its position as the most expensive location in Asia and the world.

Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia, ECA International said, “While the cost of ECA’s representative basket of goods and services in Singapore increased by 2.7% over the past 12 months, this rate is well below the regional average of 6.5%. It is also significantly lower than the 5% increase we’ve witnessed in China over the year. This, together with the fact that the Renminbi has strengthened against many currencies, including the Singapore dollar, in the same period is making Chinese locations increasingly expensive. This could be stripping them of the competitive edge they once had over other locations in Asia as companies looking to set up in the region might think twice, now, about posting staff to China.”

Living costs for assignees are affected by inflation, availability of goods and exchange rates, all of which can have a significant impact on assignee remuneration packages.

To help multinational companies calculate assignment salaries, ECA carries out two Cost of Living Surveys per year, comparing a basket of consumer goods and services commonly purchased by assignees in more than 400 locations worldwide.

 “Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges, car purchases and school fees are not included in this survey. Although such items can have a significant effect on overall cost of living, they are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages so this data is researched and published separately,” explained Quane.

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