KL - cheapest city to live in

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Infographics -

IN the world of lux­ury liv­ing, Kuala Lumpur is found to be the least ex­pen­sive city in which to live out of the 11 ma­jor (and rel­a­tively more ad­vanced) cities in Asia.

In its re­cently re­leased 2018 Wealth Re­port Asia, Julius Baer claims Kuala Lumpur re­tains its claim as the least ex­pen­sive city in Asia in price-weighted terms.

“Our bas­ket of goods and ser­vices in Kuala Lumpur fell by 3.2% in ring­git terms, as a re­sult of a steep de­cline in the prices of lux­ury ve­hi­cles,” the in­ter­na­tional pri­vate bank ex­plains.

“In US dol­lar terms, our Kuala Lumpur in­dex rose by 3.4%, buoyed by a strength­en­ing ring­git dur­ing our data col­lec­tion pe­riod. This is bet­ter than the over­all in­dex per­for­mance of 2.9%,” it says.

On the other side of the spec­trum, Shang­hai has over­taken Hong Kong as the most ex­pen­sive city to live in this year.

Sin­ga­pore, which now ranks the se­cond most ex­pen­sive city, has also beaten Hong Kong, which ranks third this year.

Ac­cord­ing to Julius Baer’s pro­jec­tion, Malaysia’s econ­omy will reg­is­ter slower growth this year at 5%, com­pared with 5.9% in 2017, be­fore slow­ing fur­ther to 4.5% in 2019.

The bank also notes that in­fla­tion could trend lower in 2018 and 2019, com­pared with last year.

“With the newly elected Pakatan Hara­pan party de­liv­er­ing on its cam­paign prom­ise of re­peal­ing the Goods and Ser­vices Tax, con­sumer prices in Kuala Lumpur are pro­jected to in­crease by 1.5% in 2018 ver­sus 3.8% in 2017,” it says.

While the Gov­ern­ment has rein­tro­duced the Sales and Ser­vices Tax since Septem­ber 2018, Julius Baer ex­pects the im­pact on in­fla­tion to be con­tained.

“Its re­duced am­bit means that its im­pact on con­sumer prices will be lim­ited. We ex­pect prices to rise by 2.5% in 2019,” it adds.

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