LONDON Singapore has outstripped Tokyo as the world's most expensive city for expatriates, according to annual rankings by the Economist Intelligence Unit released on Tuesday. Mumbai was the least expensive major city in which to live, partly due to government subsidies on some products and low local wages.
The Indian financial capital was followed by Karachi, New Delhi and Damascus as the fourth-cheapest, which EIU said reflected the weakening of the Syrian pound due to the country's civil war.
It cited a strong Singaporean dollar, the high price of utilities and the cost of car ownership as among the factors contributing to Singapore taking the top spot away from Tokyo, which for years has led the rankings.
The calculations are based on the cost of living in U.S. dollars.
Paris rose six places to become the world's second-most expensive city, which the EIU said in part reflected a recovery by European economies.
"Improving sentiment in structurally expensive European cities combined with the continued rise of Asian hubs means that these two regions continue to supply most of the world's most expensive cities," Jon Copestake, editor of the report, which looks at over 400 individual prices, said in a statement.
"But Asian cities also continue to make up many of the world's cheapest, especially in the Indian subcontinent."
After Singapore and Paris, the 10 cities with the highest cost of living, in descending order, were Oslo, Zurich, Sydney, Caracas, Geneva, Melbourne, Tokyo and Copenhagen.
London was ranked 15th most expensive city while New York was in 26th place.
(Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Susan Fenton)