Bangkok enters list of 100 most expensive cities in the world

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As cost of living in Thailand is on the rise and the baht remains strong, Bangkok has now entered the global top 100 most expensive cities to live for the first time, according to the latest cost of living survey 2018 by London-based business intelligence firm ECA International .

Chiang Mai also saw a rise and is up to 169 in the global ranking whose methodology is based on a basket of goods such as petrol, food staples, prices of a cinema ticket, a coffee or a glass of beer, among others. Certain other living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are not part of the basket as they are usually covered by separate allowances for expats. Data for these costs are collected separately and used for another ranking that allows companies to calculate expenses for staff assigned to work in another country..

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore is now the 20th most expensive location in the world, while Hong Kong has effectively become cheaper and dropped from second to 11th in ECA’s cost of living global ranking. Tokyo remains the most expensive Asian city and is ranked seventh on the global list.

Hong Kong has seen a significant drop in our cost of living rankings for overseas workers, falling behind locations such as Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. The main reason behind the drop is the fall in value of the US dollar against which the Hong Kong dollar is pegged, over the last year.

Malaysian cities have also moved up the index, although Kuala Lumpur is far behind Bangkok in terms of cost of living at rank 182.

Commenting on Thailand’s and Malaysia’s rise in the rankings, Lee Quane, regional director – Asia, ECA International, said that once again prices increased at a relatively low rate, in both countries. In the case of Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur, this shows that the inflationary impact of the imposition of a (now scrapped) goods and services tax seems to have been brought under control.

“Rather, it is the relative appreciation of each country’s currency that saw Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur rise in our rankings to 99 and 182 respectively,” Quane said.

Globally, Caracas in Venezuela topped the ranking, mainly due to skyrocketing inflation, followed by four Swiss cities – Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern. The Angolan capital Luanda, which emerged as last year’s most expensive, came in next at sixth place.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As cost of living in Thailand is on the rise and the baht remains strong, Bangkok has now entered the global top 100 most expensive cities to live for the first time, according to the latest cost of living survey 2018 by London-based business intelligence firm ECA International .

Chiang Mai also saw a rise and is up to 169 in the global ranking whose methodology is based on a basket of goods such as petrol, food staples, prices of a cinema ticket, a coffee or a glass of beer, among others. Certain other living costs, such as accommodation rental, utilities, car purchases and school fees are not part of the basket as they are usually covered by separate allowances for expats. Data for these costs are collected separately and used for another ranking that allows companies to calculate expenses for staff assigned to work in another country..

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore is now the 20th most expensive location in the world, while Hong Kong has effectively become cheaper and dropped from second to 11th in ECA’s cost of living global ranking. Tokyo remains the most expensive Asian city and is ranked seventh on the global list.

Hong Kong has seen a significant drop in our cost of living rankings for overseas workers, falling behind locations such as Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai. The main reason behind the drop is the fall in value of the US dollar against which the Hong Kong dollar is pegged, over the last year.

Malaysian cities have also moved up the index, although Kuala Lumpur is far behind Bangkok in terms of cost of living at rank 182.

Commenting on Thailand’s and Malaysia’s rise in the rankings, Lee Quane, regional director – Asia, ECA International, said that once again prices increased at a relatively low rate, in both countries. In the case of Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur, this shows that the inflationary impact of the imposition of a (now scrapped) goods and services tax seems to have been brought under control.

“Rather, it is the relative appreciation of each country’s currency that saw Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur rise in our rankings to 99 and 182 respectively,” Quane said.

Globally, Caracas in Venezuela topped the ranking, mainly due to skyrocketing inflation, followed by four Swiss cities – Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern. The Angolan capital Luanda, which emerged as last year’s most expensive, came in next at sixth place.

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