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Manila too expensive? Try living in Singapore, New York

METRO Manila is third out of the six most expensive cities in Southeast Asia in 2021, but New York City and Singapore topped this year’s list of cities with the highest cost of living in the world.
by Jericho Zafra

METRO Manila is third out of the six most expensive cities in Southeast Asia in 2021, but New York City and Singapore topped this year’s list of cities with the highest cost of living in the world.

In 2021, e-commerce firm iPrice said that Manila had the lowest salary average, and yet it was third of the most expensive cities in Southeast Asia to live in.

Alongside the high-cost of living and uncompetitive salary, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported in October this year that the country had a 14-year high inflation rate of 7.7 percent.

On the other hand, London-based business intelligence firm Economist Intelligence Unit reported that Singapore and New York City are two of the 11 cities in the world with the highest cost of living. 

New York City is followed by Tel Aviv in Israel, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States, Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland, Paris in France, Copenhagen in Denmark, and Sydney in Australia.

The prices of essential commodities in the world’s biggest cities have risen 8.1 percent in local currency terms. This is the highest rate in at least 20 years, according to the EIU Worldwide Cost of Living survey.

The primary contributor to this rise is the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by China, it said.

EIU reported that inflation has been extremely high in Tehran, Iran, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Istanbul in Turkey. 

However, it noted that Venezuela’s Caracas, where the worldwide cost of living prices has increased by 132 percent since last year, has the highest inflation rate in the world.

Of the 172 cities EIU surveyed, Damascus in Syria and Tripoli in Libya remain the cheapest cities in the world.

The price of gasoline, which has increased by an average of 22 percent every year in local currency due to rising global oil prices and a stronger US dollar, has seen the fastest increases in the worldwide cost of living index, the survey said.

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