Manila rises 29 places in 'Cost of Living' survey

The Philippine capital jumped 29 places in Mercer’s annual report, the fourth sharpest climb worldwide.
Jun Acculador / CC BY-ND, File

MANILA, Philippines — Manila is now the 109th costliest city in the world, making one of the highest ascents worldwide amid the Philippine economy's robust growth, Mercer’s 2019 “Cost of Living” survey released Wednesday found.

The Philippine capital jumped 29 places in Mercer’s annual report, the fourth sharpest climb worldwide.

“Manila’s rise in ranking was largely due to a marked increase in foreign investment and a buoyant expatriate market, as well as the movement of other cities,” Mercer said.

With its sky-high rents, Hong Kong remains the world’s costliest city, Mercer reported, adding that eight of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities are in Asia.

Other cities that took the top spots are Tokyo (2), Singapore (3), Seoul (4), Zurich (5), Shanghai (6), Ashgabat (7), Beijing (8), New York City (9) and Shenzhen (10).

Ashgabat in Turkmenistan saw the biggest rise in rankings, jumping 36 places from 43rd in 2018 “as a result of the country’s shortage of currency and imported goods driving up prices.”

“Despite the relatively high cost of living, many organizations still see a strong business rationale for moving talent into and within the region,” said Mario Ferraro, Mercer’s global mobility practice leader for Asia, Middle East and Africa.

“At the same time, cost considerations are still an issue, and we are seeing an increased focus on having a clear business case for the assignment, as well as measuring the return on investment,” Ferraro added.

Mercer said its data for cost of living and rental accommodation cost comparisons are derived from a survey conducted in March 2019. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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