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Singapore ranks world's most expensive place to live: EIU cost of living survey

SINGAPORE, March 10 (Xinhua)-- Singapore is still the world's most expensive place to live, while China's Hong Kong has moved up seven places in the ranking into joint second place with Zurich, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s Worldwide Cost of Living survey released on Thursday.

Singapore has the highest score of 116, while Zurich and Hong Kong get 114, ranking the second place, EIU's latest report showed. In joint eighth place, Seoul makes up a trinity of Asian cities among the 10 most expensive cities.

These increases are set against a backdrop of global volatility, with falling oil and commodity prices as well as currency devaluations and geopolitical uncertainty playing a part, said the report.

"In nearly 17 years of working on this survey, I can't recall a year as volatile as 2015," commented Jon Copestake, an editor of the survey.

"Falling commodity prices have created deflationary pressures in some countries, but in others, currency weakness caused by these falls has led to spiraling inflation."

Only eight cities of the 133 surveyed have seen their ranking position remain unchanged in the last 12 months. Chinese cities have become more expensive relative to their peers. Shanghai is now as pricey as Tokyo, which was the world's most expensive city for most of the last two decades.

Despite drastic declines in many Eurozone locations, Paris remains the 5th most expensive city in the world. U.S. dollar has reached 10-year highs, pushing up the cost of living across the United States compared to other locations, especially ailing Latin American countries. New York is now among the 10 most expensive cities globally for the first time since 2002.

South Asian cities continue to offer the best value for money. Cities in India and Pakistan account for five of the 10 cheapest cities. They are joined in the latest ranking by Lusaka, Zambia's capital, which has seen its currency unwind on the back of weak copper prices and can now lay claim to being the world's cheapest city, with a cost of living two thirds cheaper than Singapore.

The bi-annual survey by EIU compares over 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These items include food, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents, transport and utility bills etc. in each city.

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