Cost of living may decline in Chinese cities

Updated: 2015-03-19 17:38

By Chen Jia(

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The cost of living in Chinese cities will remain stable or decline this year as consumer demand weakens, said a survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday.

Shanghai, as China's most expensive city, is now cheaper than New York, ranking the 24th among the 133 cities covered by the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, it said.

Beijing has proved to be the most stable Chinese city, ranking 46th in the world, just one place higher than last year. Guangzhou and Tianjin offer the best value of those surveyed in China  both are around 23 percent cheaper than Shanghai and lie halfway down the global ranking in joint 69th position, according to the survey.

Other Chinese cities, including Shenzhen and Qingdao, have become pricier. Shenzhen in particular has climbed 11 places in the ranking and is almost as expensive as Shanghai.

Singapore heads an unchanged top five, with Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney all remaining structurally expensive.

It is not just emerging markets that are prone to slides. Tokyo, which was replaced as the world's most expensive city last year, has fallen to 11th place as low inflation and a weak yen take their toll. Conversely, Seoul, in South Korea, is rising quickly up the rankings. Ranked 50th five years ago, it is now in the top 10.

The Worldwide Cost of Living is a bi-annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey that compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, home rents and recreational costs