Four European cities among world's most expensive

Singapore

Move over Singapore - the world's most expensive city has two new rivals.

Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore have been ranked as world's most expensive cities in the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey.

London has become a dearer place to live in the a year ago, causing it to climb eight places in the world's most expensive city list, according to the latest worldwide cost of living survey. North America was represented by the USA cities of NY, seventh, and Los Angeles, tied 10th with Israel's Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv, Israel - the sole Middle Eastern country in the top 10 - tied with Los Angeles to rank tenth.

According to the survey, U.S. cities were among the priciest when it came to utilities and domestic help.

However, Copenhagen's high ranking, joint seventh (along with Seoul), was thought to be due to relatively high transportation, recreation and personal care costs.

Uzbekistan's Tashkent also experienced a big drop, falling 19 places to 131st, while Moscow is down 16 spots to 102nd.

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Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur has risen ten spots to 88th in the ranking while Manila is at 92nd after climbing nine spots up.

These three cities joined the ranks of Venezuela's Caracas, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Lagos in Nigeria, and Pakistani city of Karachi among others that remain highly affordable when compared to other cities globally.

"The slight appreciation in the pound sterling has been enough to cause increases in domestic prices and push London (joint 22nd) and Manchester (joint 51st) up the ranking by eight and five spots respectively".

Paris is "extremely expensive to live in", said the report, with an average two-piece business suit for men quoted at around €1,700 and a typical women's haircut was costed at €150, it found. "It is a testament to globalization and the similarity of tastes and shopping patterns", says Roxana Slavcheva, editor of the survey.

"Cities in the United Kingdom are becoming relatively more expensive for domestic consumers but they are becoming cheaper for foreigners because of the weakness of the pound", said Slavcheva.

Deteriorating economic conditions in Venezuela and hyperinflation are at the root of its downward-trending position down the list.

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