Karachi ranked 6th cheapest city in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit

Singapore most expensive city 5th year in a row, Damascus, Caracas, Lagos ranked lowest

News Desk March 17, 2018

The Economist Intelligence Unit has claimed that Karachi is one of the cheapest cities in the world, ranked 6th from the bottom out of a list of 133 cities on the Worldwide Cost of Living report released earlier this week.

The survey by the British group, which provides research and analysis to businesses, has compared the prices of 150 products and services in urban centers of 93 countries, that subsequently form the basis of their index of major cities in the world arranged according to cost of living.

War-wracked Damascus, the troubled Venezuelan capital Caracas, Lagos in Nigeria and the Pakistani city of Karachi are among the world's cheapest cities, the survey showed.

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"Put simply, cheaper cities also tend to be less liveable," the report has claimed.

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, although the region in which Pakistan lies remains structurally cheap, instability is becoming an increasingly prominent factor in lowering the relative cost of living of a location. This means that there is a considerable element of risk in some of the world’s cheapest cities.

Countries in the region have been tipped for rapid economic expansion, but in per-head terms, wage and spending growth will remain low, the research group outlines.

Income inequality means that low wages are the norm, limiting household spending and creating many tiers of pricing as well as strong competition from a range of retail sources, it adds in the report.

Most expensive

The eye-watering cost of owning a car in space-starved Singapore means the city state is the world's most expensive place to live, for the fifth year in a row, according to the report.

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The Asian financial hub - where owning a no-frills sedan can set you back US$76,000 - beat global capitals to the dubious title, despite stiff competition from resurgent European cities.

Pricey perennials Tokyo and New York did not even make the top 10 in the annual list by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), beaten out by Paris, Zurich (joint second) Hong Kong (fourth) and Oslo (fifth).
Seoul and Geneva shared sixth place, while Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and Sydney rounded out the rankings

Despite some perks to domestic life in Singapore - home help is cheap - the former British colony "remains the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car," EIU said.

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Singapore has avoided Asia's massive traffic jams by controlling vehicle ownership through a quota system under which a buyer must pay for a Certificate of Entitlement - currently nearly Sg$40,000 ($30,500) -- on top of the vehicle's actual price.

That means a basic sedan comes with a Sg$100,000 price tag.
Asian cities tend to be most expensive for grocery shopping, while Europe comes out tops in household, personal care, recreation and entertainment, the survey said.

Currency fluctuations remain a major cause for the changes in the rankings, with the weaker US dollar keeping American cities out of the top 10.


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