SINGAPORE (Nov 19): Zurich and Paris have displaced Singapore and Osaka as the world’s most expensive cities after the Covid-19 reshuffle of the global ranking, said a CNBC report.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Singapore and Osaka were at the top ranking of the list together with Hong Kong.

Citing The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Worldwide Cost of Living index report, CNBC said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the prices of goods and services in more than 130 cities as of September 2020.

According to the report, Zurich and Paris’ jump to first place was due to the strengthening of the Swiss franc and the euro.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the weakening of the US dollar while western European and north Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services,” said Upasana Dutt, head of Worldwide Cost of Living at The EIU. New York City is used as the base city in the index.

“Asian cities have traditionally dominated the rankings in the past years but the pandemic has reshuffled the rankings of this edition.”

Singapore, which is now in fourth place, saw prices fall because of an exodus of foreign workers, the report said.

“With the city state’s overall population contracting for the first time since 2003, demand has declined and deflation has set in.

“Osaka has seen similar trends, with consumer prices stagnating and the Japanese government subsidising costs such as public transport.”

Osaka shares fifth place with Tel Aviv.

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