Today, BBC reported that the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has ranked Singapore as the priciest city ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris. It is surprising because for anybody who has been to Switzerland will know that their food are generally way more expensive than Singapore. Looking at the ‘Big Mac Index’, a Big Mac in Singapore costs $5.70 whereas a Big Mac in Switzerland will cost $9. Then, why is Singapore the priciest city?
Actually, BBC has elaborated that it’s not the items in the supermarket that drives up our ranking but it’s the big items such as cars, and luxury items such as Burberry coats which cost more than those in these lower-ranked countries. DPM Tharman spoke on this before in 2014, noting that a lot of items measured in EIU study may not be that relevant to Singaporeans (e.g. imported cheese, filet mignon) and what’s more important is that everyday items are kept affordable for middle and lower-income Singaporeans.
Therefore, unless you are an expat who needs to have your Camembert or Bree regularly or a regular consumer for expensive theatre tickets or Chanel gowns, this report serves as a reading pleasure more than a real cause of concern for you. But, if you have always been purchasing such items regularly then seriously, so what if Singapore is the most expensive city in the world?