FIRST WITH THE NEWS: The cost of living in Bangkok is rising, even without property prices being taken into account.
ECA International’s latest global survey collects prices of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by expatriates in more than 475 locations.
Items used by the company to ascertain the cost of living include daily essentials, but does not include property, vehicles or school fees as these are usually compensated in expatriate packages.
A spokesperson for ECA International told ThailandProperty.News: “The prices of goods and services in Bangkok rose by approximately 2 percent between our 2017 and 2018 surveys.”
This was similar to other major cities in the region.
“However, Bangkok rose significantly in our rankings due to the Thai baht strengthening significantly against other currencies, pushing up its cost of living relative to other global cities.”
Elsewhere. Hong Kong saw a significant drop in the cost of living rankings for overseas workers, falling in the space of 12 months from the second most expensive location in the world to 11th.
Lee Quane, Regional Director for Asia, said that exchange rates have been the main cause of movements in the rankings in the past 12 months.
“Rates of price increases throughout most of the major locations in Asia researched has been quite low but currency movements, on the other hand, have been quite volatile with several emerging market currencies strengthening against the US dollar in the last year,” he added.
Tokyo is now the most expensive location in Asia despite staying in seventh place in the rankings, while Singapore saw a slight rise its ranking but still ranked lower than its peak in 2016.
Caracas, Venezuela, now tops the list of the most expensive cities in the world, overtaking Hong Kong, all cities in Switzerland and last year’s most expensive location, Luanda.
Quane said: “The economic situation in Venezuela has become increasingly volatile with inflation reaching an astounding 7,000 percent in the year to March 2018 and 1,800 percent during the last six months alone.”
Swiss cities continue to dominate the top of the rankings with four locations in the global top ten.