Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ECA International Survey Reveals Japan Most Costly for Expats

According to a recent survey released by the HR firm, ECA International, expats in Japan have the highest living expenses compared to their counterparts working elsewhere in Asia, due largely to the Japanese currency's recent sharp rise. Specifically, the top four cities listed in the survey include Tokyo, Nagoya, Yokohama and Kobe, in priority order.

Part of the explanation for the positioning of Japanese cities in the survey is the fact that the Japanese yen has risen by about 20% against the US dollar in the past 12 months and expatriates who are paid in currencies such as the US dollar are feeling the pinch.

COMMENT: In recent months, investors have flocked to the Japanese currency as a safe haven amid volatile markets stirred by euro-zone debt fears and concerns for the global economy, particularly as relates to the euro and the US dollar.

After Kobe, the most expensive cities described in the survey include Seoul, followed by Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Busan.

The ECA International survey is carried out twice a year in March and September by measuring a basket of common items purchased by expatriates in more than 400 locations globally, such as dairy products, produce, vegetables, clothing and meals out.

See http://www.eca-international.com/news/press_release/7538/#.Tt5BxnO4KlM

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