Asian cities continue to have the most expensive groceries.

Singapore, Hong Kong and Osaka are sharing the throne as the most expensive cities for expatriates globally, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit?s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living 2020. The cities? index score is at 102.

The report noted that Asia's key business centres? continue to be the most expensive places for grocery shopping. For instance, a 1kg loaf of bread in Singapore costs $4.78 (US$3.35), whilst $5.14 (US$3.6) in Hong Kong and $8.03 (US$5.63) in Osaka. A beer bottle in Singapore costs $3.21 (US$2.25), $2.24 (US$1.57) in Hong Kong, whilst $3.55 ($2.49) in Osaka.

However, the survey results for 2019 highlight that on average, the fastest overall risers in recent years have been North American cities. In contrast, the euro weakened against the dollar in 2019, owing partly to sluggish growth in the eurozone as external headwinds, such as the US-China trade war, negatively impacted export-led economies such as Germany. As such, all eurozone countries recorded lower index scores and rankings in 2019.

This pattern is said to have extended beyond the euro area, with the cost of living in other European cities also falling relative to New York. That said, European cities continue to dominate the top spots in individual category costs for personal care, household goods and recreation, reflecting high wages and household spending.

On the other hand, the three cheapest cities are Damascus, Syria; Tashkent, Uzbekistan; and Almaty, Kazakhstan.