KL is cheapest Asean city to live in, Singapore world’s most expensive

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s federal capital has been ranked as among one of the cheapest cities in the world to live in.

A survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist, ranked Kuala Lumpur in 96th place out of 133 cities surveyed worldwide.

The survey ranks the most expensive cities in numerical order, with number one being the most expensive.

The placing makes Kuala Lumpur the cheapest Asean city to live in.

However, Malaysia’s southern neighbours, Singapore, emerged as the most expensive city to live in for a fourth consecutive year, according to the cost-of-living survey.

The cheapest city to live in, according to the survey, is Almaty in Kazakhstan.

The survey compares the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 cities around the world and is primarily used by human resources managers to calculate compensation packages for overseas postings.

It found that Singapore was 20 per cent more expensive than New York and 5 per cent pricier than Hong Kong, which lies in second place.

A sustained recovery in the strength of the Japanese yen has also led to rising costs in Osaka and Tokyo.

Asia now hosts five out of the six most expensive cities in the world. This contrasts with a gradual drop down the rankings for European cities, which made up eight of the 10 most expensive places a decade ago and now account for just four.

In Britain, the depreciation of the pound sterling after the Brexit referendum has helped push London and Manchester sharply down the rankings; London is at its lowest position in 20 years.

In the United States, its cities have also fallen down the rankings, too, although they still remain comparatively expensive compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked in 46th position. San Francisco and Lexington, Kentucky were the only American cities out of the 16 surveyed to move up the rankings.-NST

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