The Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living survey named Singapore, Osaka and Hong Kong the world's most expensive cities today. Using New York as a benchmark, the research compared the price of 160 items in different cities around the world.
The current survey was compiled in November 2019 before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the pandemic has already had a major impact on the global financial system. Cities that rely heavily on income from tourism, including Hong Kong and Singapore, could see their economies contract and their cost of living fall. That is likely to result in very different results in future editions of the ranking.
This year's survey was notable as it saw Osaka displacing Paris in the top-three due to a strengthening of the yen which also resulted in Tokyo climbing from 13th place to joint 9th. New York and Los Angeles are also among the world's most expensive cities, coming 4th and 9th respectively. They were influenced by a combination of firm domestic demand and strong local currency.