Yes... But only for expatriates.
1. All prices are converted from local currencies to US dollars1, which means that the rankings are sensitive to currency fluctuations.
2. The items in the EIU consumption basket are quite different from the goods and services regularly consumed by Singaporeans.
For example, the EIU’s consumption basket includes items like filet mignon and international foreign daily newspapers. Comparatively, the typical Singaporean consumption basket includes items such as local newspapers and chicken rice, which tend to be cheaper.
3. The prices of comparable items in the EIU survey are higher than what Singaporeans pay
For the comparable items in both the EIU and Singaporean consumption baskets2, the prices of close to 95% of them were higher in the EIU survey than in the surveys conducted by the Department of Statistics (DOS)3. Indeed, for these items, about 40% had prices that were more than double what Singaporeans pay. Table 1 shows the prices of some of the comparable items collected by DOS and EIU.
Table 1: Prices of selected goods and services collected by DOS and EIU
Prices collected by DOS (S$)
EIU WCOL Prices (S$)
Average Retail Prices for 2015
White rice, 5 kg
Men's haircut (tips included)
- Hair cut without shampoo
- Haircut with shampoo and blow dry
Electricity, monthly bill for family of four4
- HDB flats
- Non-HDB housing
Men's business shirt, white
Source: Singapore Department of Statistics, EIU Worldwide Cost of Living 2016
*Prices from the EIU WCOL survey have been scaled to match the units used by DOS
1 EIU converts all prices to US dollars because the WCOL survey is intended as an international guide to global companies.
2 DOS has comparable data for about 120 out of 170 items included in the EIU WCOL basket.
3 DOS collects the price data for more than 6,600 brands/varieties of goods and services in its monthly and yearly surveys. Prices of selected items are published in the Singstat Table Builder.
4 The price range for the monthly electricity bill in the EIU survey is based on the consumption of a spacious property serving a wealthy expatriate family of four (plus possible domestic helpers).
Is it true that Singapore's temperature is expected to soar to 40°C in the next few days?
Questions on the Cross Island Line