March 22 ------ Hong Kong, Singapore and Osaka are the most expensive cities to live in, according to the latest edition of The Economist‘s Worldwide Cost of Living report. Osaka joins last year’s chart-toppers Hong Kong and Singapore, and knocks Paris, which shared the top spot, down to fifth place on the index. Currency shifts are cited as the biggest influencing factors for this year’s ranking. The strengthening value of the yen pushed Tokyo up from 13th to 8th spot, while higher prices in clothing and domestic demand made living in cities like New York and Los Angeles particularly expensive.
For the ranking, The Economist Intelligence Unit compares 400 prices across 160 products and services in food and drink, clothing, household supplies, personal care, rent, transportation, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs. Analysts cite modest domestic demand and weak global energy prices for keeping inflationary pressures in check across Europe. Of the 37 European cities surveyed, 31 fell in overall rank.
Meanwhile, currency depreciation is also what drives Seoul out of the top 10 list this year.
Here are the most expensive cities according to The Economist: