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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » Colombo among world’s top 10 cheapest cities

Colombo among world’s top 10 cheapest cities

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Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Colombo figured among the world’s top 10 cheapest cities along with several Asian nations according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s global cost of living index. Among cheapest in top 10 were Mumbai, New Delhi, Karachi, Kathmandu, Algerian capital of Algiers,Bucharest in Romania, Panama City, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and Iranian capital Tehran.



Whilst Asia was home to six of the 10 cheapest, Asia and Australasia combined accounted for 11 of the world’s top 20 most expensive cities as well, with eight from Europe and one from South America. This compared to a decade ago when there were six Asian cities, 10 European cities and four U.S. cities in the top 20 of the list that calculates living costs in 131 cities in 93 countries and is used by companies for costings when relocating staff.

According to a Reuters report the cost of living the Australian dream has surged with Sydney and Melbourne among the five most expensive cities in the world, outstripping most European and US locations. Referring to India and its forecasts for growth, the EIU said: “Income inequality means that household spending levels are low on a per capita basis, which has kept prices down, especially by Western standards.”In the 2013 survey, Tokyo reclaimed the title as the world’s most expensive city. Currency swings pushed Zurich into the No.1 position last year but government exchange rate controls have driven the Swiss city back to No.7 in the list.

Osaka in Japan was ranked the second most expensive.Jon Copestake, editor of the EIU Worldwide Cost of Living Index, said one of the most notable changes was the rising costs in Australia, with Sydney third in the list and Melbourne fifth. Sandwiched between them was Oslo in Norway.

“Ten years ago there were no Australian cities in the top 50 most expensive cities and I have not seen this sort of climb with any other cities,” Copestake told Reuters. “But economic growth has supported inflation and the strength of the
Australian dollar against other currencies besides the US dollar has driven up costs. Visitors will certainly feel the difference and people living there will have noticed prices have crept up.”

The survey is based on costs of over 160 items ranging from food and clothing, to domestic help, transport and utilities.
Copestake said the return of Tokyo to top of the list came as no great surprise as the Japanese capital had steep real estate costs and rents, as well as high wages fuelling prices.

Since 1992 Tokyo has been the top-ranking city in every year bar six when Zurich, Paris and Oslo claimed the No.1 spot.
Also featured in the 2013 top 10 were Singapore, Zurich, Paris, the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and Geneva.
Copestake said fears over economic austerity and the stability of the euro had pushed the index of euro zone cities down in the past year while the inclusion of Caracas was due to artificially high exchange rate controls.

Although no North American cities feature in the top 20, the EIU said the cost of living in New York had risen relative to other places in the United States. It shares 27th position as the most expensive U.S. city
with Los Angeles. The Canadian city of Vancouver remains the most expensive location in North America, ranked 21st in the index.






http://www.ft.lk/2013/02/06/colombo-among-worlds-top-10cheapest-cities

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Wrt Colombo, have they considered the average salary/earnings of a person before they say it is a the cheapest to live

Whitebull


Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
Assistant Vice President - Equity Analytics
There is an equillibrium among amount of earning of average person and cost of living in a particular city or country.So this is always comparative value.

Slstock

Slstock
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Yes thats why I disagree with saying cheapest. There should be a earning:cosof living ratio considered.

In a another country one could still save % wise higher amount if careful,even after paying rent, food, transportation, utilities , entertainment etc. But sadly in most cheap asian cities mentioned howmuchcan onesave.


Just saying cheapest cities is deceiving.


@Whitebull wrote:There is an equillibrium among amount of earning of average person and cost of living in a particular city or country.So this is always comparative value.

Hanoifortune

Hanoifortune
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
One way it is good to attract more tourists.

6Colombo among world’s top 10 cheapest cities Empty Primarily for expatriates Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:35 am

kukumarx


Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
This survey is primarily for expatriates. The perspective is if you were an expatriate employee of an NGO or Multinational company then what kind of expenses you would face if you were posted to one of these cities. Its the comparison of the weighted average of a basket of goods and services an expatriate would need. Housing, transport, food, services like schooling, maids etc etc.

This survey doesn't make sense form the perspective of a Srilankan living in Colombo. After all the Sri Lankan is paid a Sri Lankan wage and has to make do with that. The CPI is a better indication.

However one conclusion can be drawn.

Mumbai is cheaper than Colombo. Now rentals in Mumbai are crazily high compared to Colombo. Since this calculation is a weighted avarage, it goes to show how much cheaper other things are in Mumbai like food, services etc.

7Colombo among world’s top 10 cheapest cities Empty Cheap for foreigners,costly for locals Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:18 am

sriranga

sriranga
Co-Admin
Depends on who you ask, Colombo is talking about a report this week in which the Sri Lankan capital is described as the 10 least expensive or cheapest cities in the world.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) worldwide cost of living index survey, Mumbai and Karachi were the joint cheapest locations followed by New Delhi, Kathmandu and Algiers.

The others in the top 10 order were Bucharest, Colombo, Panama City, Jeddah and Tehran.

The report says that this assessment is ‘by Western standards” which may then measure up because no one in Colombo, let alone the outstations, will concur with such a report.

In fact a survey cum poll undertaken by the Business Times together with its polling partner, the Ravi Bamunusinghe-led Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) in the past two weeks found the cost of living (COL) and general prices shooting through the sky and on a one-way street; up, up and up, whatever government indicators, the Central Bank or the Census and Statistics Department may indicate.

The results of this revealing island-wide poll will be released next week.

So if by western standards, Colombo is measured as a least expensive destination (for travelers), it’s a case of “cheap for foreigners; costly for locals.”

Everything is at astronomical costs in the capital; be it rentals, housing, fuel, bus and rail fares, schooling, eating out, fast food, clothes, entertainment, etc.

Tell any housewife, house husband or working mother in Colombo about ‘Colombo being among the cheapest cities in the world,” and prepare to get ejected from their homes! A cursory glance at prices show basic everyday items like brinjal, pumpkin, coconut, dhal, carrot, beans, eggs, chicken and fish soaring over the past year, some by as high as 50 per cent.

Simple, grown-in-the-backyard stuff like lime, green chillie or green leaves like gotukola, mukunuwanna or kankun are beyond the reach of the common man. In fact inflation (whatever the policy makers may say or argue with ‘astounding’ statistics) is much higher than many (global) cities. Maybe the rate of increase is not that high but the base rate is at never-before levels.

Fuel prices are on the rise and that puts pressure on every item that has a transportation component.

The report on the cheapest cities in the world which includes Colombo will no doubt warm the cockles of the hearts of policymakers and the tourism industry. But in the case of the tourism industry, this may not be the real situation because the total tourism product for a traveller – staying in graded hotel establishments (3-5 star), cost of food, cost of transportation, airport taxes, airfare taxes and cost of entry to historical sites –is costlier than any competitive destination like India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia. The facilities at cultural sites, where high prices are charged, are woefully inadequate and an embarrassment to any Sri Lankan as last week’s Business Times front-page picture of a tourist couple bending to read a faded description of a monument at Polonnaruwa shows.
This news comes during a cabinet reshuffle where new ministers have been appointed and older ones given new positions.

Sri Lanka now has a minister for sugar who would also, according to a government spokesman, double up as a minister in charge of bringing diabetes down!

Cabinet spokesperson and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella is reported to have said during a recent Cabinet media briefing that the Sugar Minister would most likely be allocated the task of controlling diabetes. If this is what he has ‘actually said’, it is another case of Rambukwella shooting off the hip without thinking and a classic style of who-cares-a-damn type of governance in the country. How on earth could a minister in charge of promoting the sugar industry, increasing production to reduce imports and, according to some reports, planning to set up 15 more sugar plants, prevail on people to eat less sugar? This is not only silly but an absurd form of governance that is a hallmark of the present regime.

Having said that, if one is to believe western media reports that ‘Colombo is amongst the cheapest cities in the world’, then the new cost – some Rs 400 million a month to maintain the new ministers and their staff alone – needs to brought into the equation. Add other extras and the latest cabinet shuffle would cost the Government an additional Rs 1 billion a month.

This is at a time when the Treasury is scraping the barrel to fund various ‘adventurous projects’ and was forced to reverse an ill-advised decision to double the cess on tea exports. The move, in which the line ministry (Plantations) and the Sri Lanka Tea Board, was unaware, drew angry protests from the tea trade, forcing the President (as Finance Ministry, one assumes) to step in and cancel the change.

There is no dispute over the fact that cost of living and inflation in Colombo and elsewhere is on the rise and has never come down (economists may argue otherwise over a bunch of statistics).

For every step the authorities take to ‘bring relief to the people’ by reducing the price of one consumer item, there are three or four other items that go up (elsewhere) in price through the imposition of a new tax or Government levy. The creation of new ministers and their cost is one example!

Whoever says Colombo is the cheapest city in the world, take it with a pinch of salt!
http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130210/business-times/cheap-for-foreignerscostly-for-locals-31854.html

http://sharemarket-srilanka.blogspot.co.uk/

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