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Singapore and New York are the most expensive cities to live in: EIU

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New York City, along with Singapore, is the most expensive city to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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Singapore has once again been ranked as the most expensive city to live in, sharing the top spot with New York City this year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 

This is the eighth time in 10 years that Singapore topped the list. Both Singapore and New York City knocked last year’s leader, Tel Aviv, down to third place thanks to higher inflation and stronger currencies, the EIU reported in its new Worldwide Cost of Living survey of 172 cities.

According to the survey, the average price of goods in local currency terms surged by 8.1% this year, citing a poll that the firm conducted between Aug. 16 and Sept. 16. That’s up from the 3.5% rise in prices reported by the EIU’s 2021 survey.

Supply chain disruptions from China’s zero-Covid policy and the Russia-Ukraine war were two key reasons for higher inflation this year, Upasana Dutt, head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU, told CNBC. 

“These two combined together placed a lot more pressure on access to goods and availability of products that account for [the] very basic necessities of people. And both of these together, then drove inflation across the world,” she said. 

The research and analysis firm found that the steepest price increase was for petrol. On average, petrol prices rose by 22% from the year before. 

Oil prices have been “very, very extreme” and “one of the highest that we’ve ever recorded in the history of our data collection,” Dutt said. 

High inflation in the U.S.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 375 basis points so far this year in light of persistently high inflation, and a smaller rate hike could happen in December.

That has given a significant boost to the U.S. dollar, making goods more expensive. 

“New York has appeared in this list for the very first time. So for the U.S. dollar to strengthen so much and get to where it is now, it is quite unusual,” Dutt said. 

Other cities in the U.S. also rose in the index because of the strong greenback, EIU said. 

Los Angeles rose from ninth place in 2021 to fourth this year. San Francisco — which did not make the top 10 last year — is now the eighth most expensive city to live in.

Six of the 10 cities that made the biggest jumps were also in the United States. They include Atlanta, San Diego and Boston.

This is the eighth time in 10 years that Singapore topped the list.

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Singapore’s top spot came as no surprise.

The country “has the world’s highest transport prices, owing to strict government controls on car numbers. It is also among the most expensive cities for clothing, alcohol and tobacco, thanks to its success as a premier location for business investment,” the report said. 

The city shared the second spot with Paris last year, so it is “very much where it has always been,” Dutt said. 

Japan and South Korea fall

Cities in countries whose currencies plunged this year were among those that fell in the rankings.

Japan’s Osaka is the 43rd most expensive city to live in, a big drop from its 10th position in 2021. And South Korea’s Busan fell 25 spots from last year, and is now 106th, EIU data showed.

“Japan and South Korea have also seen currency depreciation, while local-currency inflation in these countries is fairly subdued; this has pushed down the indices for Tokyo and Seoul compared with New York,” the report said. 

Japan’s Osaka is the 43rd most expensive city to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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“The Bank of Japan took the view that they would not artificially inflate the currency and they would let it slide so that prices would increase. That’s one of the reasons why Osaka and Tokyo have really slowed down [in their rankings],” Dutt said.

Although South Korea made moves to strengthen the won, “investors always call for safer currencies at this point in time and the currency has slipped because of confidence levels,” she added. 

Biggest jump: Russian cities

The Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg rose by 88 and 70 places respectively — the two cities with the biggest jumps, the survey showed. Moscow is now in 36th place and St. Petersburg in the 73rd.

“Capital controls, import suppression and the conversion of European gas payments into rubles are supporting the value of the local currency,” EIU said. 

On top of that, Western sanctions on Russia have led to “extremely high” inflation there, Dutt said.

Inflation outlook for 2023 

The silver lining is that inflation is likely to start easing soon, EIU said. 

The firm forecast that global inflation will fall from an average of 9.4% this year to 6.5% in 2023.  

“Action has been taken to ensure that inflation is curtailed. So next year, we will start seeing the effect of that so prices will be lower,” Dutt said. “Much lower than this, but how lower is the question. We definitely expect this level of inflation to ease over 2023.”

The top 10

Here are the world’s most expensive cities to live in, according to the EIU’s 2022 Worldwide Cost of Living survey.

1. TIE — Singapore

1. TIE — New York

3. Tel Aviv

4. TIE — Hong Kong

4. TIE — Los Angeles

6. Zurich

7. Geneva

8. San Francisco

9. Paris

10. TIE — Copenhagen

10. TIE — Sydney



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IMF hikes global growth forecast as inflation cools

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The IMF has revised its global economic outlook upwards.

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The International Monetary Fund on Monday revised upward its global growth projections for the year, but warned that higher interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would likely still weigh on activity.

In its latest economic update, the institution said the global economy will grow 2.9% this year — which represents a 0.2 percentage point improvement from its previous forecast in October. However, it said that number would still mean a fall from an expansion of 3.4% in 2022.

It also revised its projection for 2024 down to 3.1%.

“Growth will remain weak by historical standards, as the fight against inflation and Russia’s war in Ukraine weigh on activity,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, director of the research department at the IMF, said in a blog post.

The Fund turned more positive on the global economy due to better-than-expected domestic factors in several countries, such as the United States.

“Economic growth proved surprisingly resilient in the third quarter of last year, with strong labor markets, robust household consumption and business investment, and better-than-expected adaptation to the energy crisis in Europe,” Gourinchas said, also noting that inflationary pressures have come down.

Global outlook is better but don't get too optimistic, IMF chief warns at Davos

In addition, China announced the reopening of its economy after strict Covid-19 lockdowns, which is expected to contribute to higher global growth. A weaker U.S. dollar has also brightened the prospects for emerging countries that hold debt in foreign currency.

However, the picture isn’t totally positive. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned earlier this month that the economy was not as bad as some feared, “but less bad doesn’t quite yet mean good.”

“We have to be cautious,” she said during a CNBC-moderated panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The IMF on Monday warned of several factors that could deteriorate the outlook in the coming months. These included the fact that China’s Covid reopening could stall; inflation could remain high; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could shake energy and food costs even further; and markets could turn sour on worse-than-expected inflation prints.

IMF calculations say that about 84% of nations will face lower headline inflation this year compared to 2022, but they still forecast an annual average rate of 6.6% in 2023 and of 4.3% in 2024.

As such, the Washington, D.C.-based institution said one of the main policy priorities is that central banks keep addressing the surge in consumer prices.

“Clear central bank communication and appropriate reactions to shifts in the data will help keep inflation expectations anchored and lessen wage and price pressures,” the IMF said in its latest report.

“Central banks’ balance sheets will need to be unwound carefully, amid market liquidity risks,” it added.



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Credit Suisse see Apple beating the Street this week for a few reasons

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Most Adani shares continue losses; founder loses $28 billion in month

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Gautam Adani, chairperson of Indian conglomerate Adani Group, at the World Congress of Accountants in Mumbai on Nov. 19, 2022. Founder Gautam Adani, the richest man in Asia and once second only to Elon Musk, fell out of the world’s top five richest to rank seventh on the Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

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Shares of most of Adani Group companies continued to see sharp losses for a third consecutive trading session as the company attempted to rebut short seller firm Hindenburg’s report, which accused the conglomerate of stock manipulation and an “accounting fraud scheme.”

Adani Enterprises erased earlier gains of up to 10% and last traded flat in Mumbai’s afternoon trade after the group published a lengthy response of over 400 pages to Hindenburg’s report over the weekend, saying that it will exercise its rights to “pursue remedies” to protect its investors “before all appropriate authorities.”

Adani Enterprises’ stock price remains more than 25% lower in the month to date, Refinitiv data showed. It proceeded with a secondary share sale worth $2.5 billion, which were overshadowed by a rout that wiped out a total of $48 billion as of last week’s close.

Founder Gautam Adani, the richest man in Asia and once second only to Elon Musk, fell out of the world’s top five richest to seventh place on the Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

His net worth fell $27.9 billion year to date, the index showed. It peaked at $150 billion on Sept. 20, 2022, before falling to to $92.7 billion as of last week’s close, according to the index.

Despite small gains seen in Adani Enterprises, other affiliates of the Adani Group continued to plunge.

‘Attack on India’

Adani Group said Hindenburg’s allegations were a “calculated attack on India, independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and growth story and ambition of India,” in the response it released over the weekend.

The group’s chief financial officer Jugeshinder Singh said in an interview with CNBC-TV18, an affiliate of CNBC, that the value of Adani Enterprises has not changed “simply because” of share price volatility, adding it instead lies in its “ability to incubate new businesses.”

He added that he is confident Adani Enterprises‘ follow-on public offering will be fully subscribed, calling Hindenburg’s report “simply a lie” and the timing of the report “malicious.”

Hindenburg on Monday morning described the group’s response “bloated” and claimed it “ignores every key allegation” against the conglomerate that it raised.

“Fraud cannot be obfuscated by nationalism of a bloated response that ignores every key allegation we raised,” the short seller titled its response to Adani Group.



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