HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Singapore is cheaper for expats than Hong Kong

A liter of gasoline, unleaded 95 octane costs the most in Hong Kong at $15 (US$2).

Expats in Hong Kong grapple with the steepest cost of goods and services globally as the city ranks as the most expensive location for expats, according to a survey from Mercer.

Also read: Weakening dollar is making Hong Kong cheaper for expats

In fact, one liter of gasoline, unleaded 95 octane costs $15 (US$2) in Hong Kong, the most expensive in the world although London follows closely at US$1.4-1.5 and Singapore at US$1.5-1.6.

Coffee in Hong Kong is also costlier than Singapore as average cost for the drink costs US$7 whilst only US$5 in the lion city.

The value of a typical expat pay package in Hong Kong, which includes cash salary, tax and various benefits like accommodation, international schools, and utilities, stands at US$268,514 compared to typical annual compensation and benefits package for an expat middle manager in Singapore at US$223,095, according to a report from ECA International. 

Also read: Hong Kong offers better jobs than Singapore, say expats

Angola capital Luanda has been dethroned from the crown as weakening currency dragged it to sixth place, allowing Hong Kong to take over. Tokyo follows in closely whilst Zurich comes in a third place. Seoul completes the top five. 

Asian cities performed strongly in the index with Shanghai and Beijing snagging seventh and ninth place respectively as the strengthening of the Chinese yuan pushed Mainland cities up the global rankings.

“Across the board, currency fluctuations and inflation for goods and services drive up the cost of living in Asian cities,” said Mario Ferraro, Mercer’s global mobility practice leader for Asia, Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

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