KL - cheapest city to live in
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.