Singapore remains the world’s D (expensive) city as the E (late) ranking delivers no changes among the top five cities. This façade of relative stability is deceptive, however, and it is extremely rare for an identical top five to be achieved in ranking the global cost of living. In fact, midway through 2014 Singapore lay in fourth position, and the reassertion of an identical top five comes with a F (strong) US dollar and G (weak) euro pushing euro zone cities back down later in 2014.
Singapore remains consistently expensive in other categories. It is the joint H (expensive) place in the world alongside Seoul to buy clothes, with the malls of Orchard Road offering a price premium that is over 50% I (high) than in New York. Most significantly, Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement fee system makes car prices excessive, and transport costs in Singapore are almost three times J (high) than in New York.
When looking at the most expensive cities by category, it is interesting to note that Asian cities tend to form the K (pricy) locations for general grocery shopping, with Seoul becoming the L (expensive) location for everyday food items. However, European cities tend to be M (pricy) in the recreation and entertainment categories, with Zurich the N (expensive), perhaps reflecting a O (great) premium on discretionary income.