Overseas workers are finding it more expensive to live in Singapore while money is going further in Thailand these days. Those were two of the most notable findings in the latest Cost of Living research published by ECA International.
Bangkok fell 12 positions in the rankings and now sits at 57th place globally. This is the second consecutive year the Thai capital dropped in the global cost of living rankings for overseas workers. Meanwhile, all other cities in Thailand are no longer among the world’s 125 most expensive locations.
“The long-term effects of limited tourism and restricted overseas travel continue to impact the Thai economy, causing all Thai locations to plummet in the rankings. The lack of overseas visitors has weakened the baht while inflation rates, as measured by our baskets of goods, has been lower in Bangkok in comparison to most other locations in the region,” Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International, noted.
On the other hand, Singapore rose in the latest global cost of living rankings for overseas workers. The city state is now the 12th most expensive location in the world and ranks seventh in Asia.
“Singapore has witnessed relatively high rates of inflation in the past year when measured by our basket of goods,” Quane stated. “Inflation in day-to-day items has been accompanied by relatively high rates of growth in costs of rental accommodation. This contributed to Singapore’s rise of two places in the rankings along with the relative strength of the Singapore dollar against the yen and US dollar.”
And while places like Thailand and Vietnam are falling in the cost of living rankings for overseas workers, this doesn’t mean it is less expensive to stay here. Quane points out that it is cheaper when compared to other countries but the actual cost isn’t declining.
“Absolute living costs have not fallen in Southeast Asia as prices have risen across most countries in the region. The rate at which prices grew in the region was in line with the wider Asia Pacific region, and is similar to the rates of inflation witnessed in other regions such as Europe and North America,” Quane noted. “On the other hand, our research saw significantly larger increments in the prices of goods and services in Africa and Latin America locations, which tend to have high inflation rates historically.”