But the Bangladesh capital is still the 72nd most expensive city relative to others, and more expensive than Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi in South Asia.
Singapore is the world’s most expensive in the cost of living ranking covering 133 cities worldwide, according to a study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU on Thursday.
Seoul is the only other city in the top ten that has maintained its ranking from the previous year. In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong and Sydney join Singapore and Seoul in the top ten. Low inflation has pushed Tokyo and Osaka out of the top ten.
The Japanese capital, which was the world’s most expensive city until 2013, has moved seven places down the ranking in the past 12 months.
Conversely, Seoul, which was ranked 21st five years ago, is now in sixth position.
The cheapest cities in the world have seen some changes over the past 12 months, according to the study.
Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive cities—but to many of the world’s cheapest cities too.
Within Asia, the best value for money has traditionally been offered by South Asian cities, particularly those in India and Pakistan. To an extent this remains true, and Bangalore, Chennai, Karachi and New Delhi feature among the ten cheapest locations surveyed.
India is tipped for rapid economic expansion, but in per-head terms wage and spending growth will remain low.
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.
This, combined with a cheap and plentiful supply of goods into cities from rural producers with short supply chains as well as government subsidies on some products, has kept prices down, especially by Western standards, the study says.
Nonetheless, although South Asian cities traditionally occupy positions among the ten cheapest, they are no longer the cheapest cities in the world.
Last year that title was held by Kazakhstan’s business centre, Almaty, which fell in the ranking following a 50 percent devaluation of the national currency, the tenge, after it was allowed to float in August 2015.
This year it is Syria’s capital, Damascus, which occupies that position, having fallen by 14 places in the past 12 months.
The citizens of Damascus may not feel that the city is getting cheaper, with inflation averaging an estimated 28 percent in Syria during 2017.