Hong Kong salary increases continue to be among the lowest in Asia

Press Releases   •   Nov 22, 2018 16:16 GMT

- The average salary increase in Hong Kong is forecast to be only 1.9% above inflation in 2019 - Singapore and China will both see higher salary increases than Hong Kong next year

Singapore employees to receive 2.6% salary increase in 2019, according to ECA International

Press Releases   •   Nov 22, 2018 12:50 GMT

Average real salary increase in Singapore forecast to be 2.6%, down from 2.9% in 2018, due to higher inflation

UK SALARIES SET TO RISE IN 2019

Press Releases   •   Nov 22, 2018 09:38 GMT

UK professionals are expected to receive 0.8% real-terms salary increase in 2019, double the increase received in 2018 (0.4%).

The price of beer rises 5% in Munich, but Oktoberfest remains a bargain for overseas visitors

Press Releases   •   Sep 21, 2018 13:16 BST

The average cost of a 500ml bottle of beer purchased at a bar in Munich is EUR 6.37, compared with EUR 6.09 last year. However, this is still considerably cheaper than the price of a beer in London where the average is EUR 7.87, almost 25% more expensive.

The most expensive location in the world to buy a beer is Dhaka, Bangladesh – where one bottle would set you back an average of EUR 14.71.

“Although the prices at Oktoberfest are slightly higher than last year, the cost of buying a bottle of beer at a bar is still significantly cheaper than many locations around the world” said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager at ECA International. “Places such as Scandinavia, as well as the UK and Ireland, have higher taxes on beer and alcohol resulting in higher prices when visiting a bar whereas the alcohol taxes in Germany are comparably low.”

The findings come from ECA’s latest Cost of Living Survey which compares a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees in 475 locations worldwide. The survey allows businesses to ensure that their employees’ spending power is maintained when they are sent on international assignments. ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years.

Reykjavik is the most expensive location in Europe to buy a beer, Czech Republic is the cheapest

The Icelandic capital of Reykjavik is the most expensive place in Europe to buy a beer at a bar, with a whopping average cost of EUR 13.69.

Kilfedder explained “The cost of alcohol in Scandinavia has always been high and this year remains no different, with the price of a beer in Reykjavik well over double that of Munich. The main reason for this is the very high level of tax that is imposed on alcohol in all Scandinavian countries, which drives up the price of beer. For instance, Oslo is also significantly more expensive than most locations in Europe, with visitors paying EUR 12.86 for a beer.”

The cheapest nation for beer in Europe is Czech Republic. In Brno, a bottle of beer at a bar would cost an average of EUR 2.48, over 60% cheaper than Munich.

Kilfedder said “The Czech Republic has long been known for cheap beer and the prices are among the cheapest in Europe, with Brno being the cheapest place to buy a bottle in the whole of Europe”.

London though is among the most expensive locations to purchase a beer, with an average cost of EUR 7.87 a bottle. However, prices in Paris are even higher, with a beer typically costing EUR 9.47 – 49% more expensive than in Munich.

Asian cities are the most expensive places to buy beer

Asian tourists to this year’s Oktoberfest are in for the biggest bargain, considering the high price of beer in many cities in the region. Dhaka leads the way with the average beer in the Bangladeshi city costing 131% more than in Munich.

Likewise, the average cost of a beer in Singapore is over double that of Munich too, at EUR 13.52, whilst the average amount on a night out in Hong Kong is EUR 9.96 – 56% more expensive than at the home of Oktoberfest.

Kilfedder said “The cost of beer in Dhaka especially is extremely expensive as it is only allowed to be sold to foreigners in selected restaurants and hotels.”

Lesotho is home to world’s cheapest beer

In what may be a surprise location to some – Maseru, Lesotho is the city with the cheapest beer in the world according to ECA’s survey. The average bottle bought at a bar would cost just EUR 2.40.

Kilfedder said “The Lesotho capital may not be everyone’s first thought as a tourist location, but visitors to the African location would be able to enjoy the cheapest beer prices in the world. However, this is mostly a result of the weak currency in the African nation in comparison to the euro.”

Affordable prices in North and South America, with New York a notable exception

A beer would not break the bank in most North or South American locations, with a beer in Rio de Janeiro only costing an affordable EUR 3.89 on average. Manhattan, New York on the other hand is unsurprisingly the most expensive location in the region, with a beer costing EUR 8.66 – 27% more than in Munich.

And for those looking for an Oktoberfest experience in North America - Cincinnati, home of one of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany, is slightly cheaper than the Bavarian original with an average price of EUR 6.17 for a beer. 

The price of a bottle of beer around the world (selected)

Location Price of beer (EUR) % difference with Munich
Dhaka, Bangladesh 14.71 + 131%
Reykjavik, Iceland 13.69 + 115%
Singapore 13.52 + 112%
Oslo, Norway 12.86 + 102%
Paris, France 9.47 + 49%
London, UK 7.87 + 24%
Brussels, Belgium 6.34 - <1%
Madrid, Spain 5.13 - 19%
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3.89 - 39%
Johannesburg, S. Africa 3.34 - 48%
Brno, Czech Republic 2.48 - 61%
Maseru, Lesotho 2.40 - 62%

Notes to Editors

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market-leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully-integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

About ECA's Cost of Living Survey

ECA International's cost of living surveys are carried out in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services commonly purchased by assignees. The data used above refers to year-on-year movements between ECA's March 2013 and March 2018 surveys. ECA’s Cost of Living Survey rankings began in 2005.

Cost of living indices are used by ECA clients to calculate cost of living allowances for assignees. The survey covers:

  • Food: Groceries; dairy produce; meat and fish; fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Basic: Household goods; recreational goods; general services; leisure services
  • General: Clothing; electrical goods; motoring; meals out; alcohol and tobacco

Certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

This comparison of cost of living was calculated on a base composed of various developed countries and is used to reflect an international lifestyle. Other indices available from ECA reflect specific city-to-city comparisons and different levels of shopping efficiency.

ECA's blog provides updates and commentary on currency, inflation and expatriate cost of living. Follow the blog here: https://eca-international.com/insights/blogs

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

The price of a beer in Munich, the home of Oktoberfest, has risen 5% from last year but despite this, Munich remains a cheaper location than many other cities around the world. These are some of the latest findings of global mobility experts, ECA International (ECA).

Read more »

New York remains the most expensive location in the world for business travel

Press Releases   •   Apr 17, 2018 17:39 BST

- New York City remains the most expensive city in the world to visit for business - A typical business trip to New York would cost an average of USD 793 per day - Two American cities and two Caribbean cities make the global top ten

The price of business travel to Singapore continues to rise

Press Releases   •   Apr 17, 2018 16:46 BST

- Singapore now the joint third most expensive location in Asia for a business trip - Hong Kong is the most expensive location in Asia for business travel - Malaysian cities continue to be the cheapest locations for business travel

Hong Kong replaces Tokyo as most expensive business travel location in Asia

Press Releases   •   Apr 17, 2018 15:58 BST

- Hong Kong is the most expensive city in Asia for business travel - Tokyo drops down to second place, after previously overtaking Hong Kong - A typical business trip in Hong Kong costs over USD 500 per day

London drops out of top ten most expensive business travel locations in the world

Press Releases   •   Apr 17, 2018 15:45 BST

- Geneva is the most expensive city in Europe for the fourth year in a row, as Swiss cities dominate the top ten - London drops three places this year, down to the sixth most expensive city in Europe for business travel - UK cities all drop down the rankings compared to last year

Northern European cities offer best living conditions

Press Releases   •   Mar 21, 2018 11:48 GMT

  • ECA International reveals best and worst cities for air pollution, transport infrastructure, personal security and cultural barriers for European expats
  • Canadian cities offer Europeans better quality of life than many cities in Europe
  • Singapore continues to be the most liveable Asian city for Europeans

Copenhagen and Bern offer the best living standards in the world for expatriates according to a report by global mobility experts, ECA International (ECA).

Analysing a range of ‘liveability’ scores for Europeans moving abroad, from air pollution and personal security, to language barriers and isolation, ECA reveals cities in Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands offer Europeans the best living standards overall.

According to ECA’s annual report, living standards in London do not score as well in comparison. The UK capital features further down in the liveability rankings mainly due to higher air pollution levels and crime rates. Glasgow is the only UK city that scores worse, primarily due to a more limited access to schools offering an international curriculum.

London harder for expats to adapt to due to air pollution and personal security

“London does not score as well as most other UK locations in our report due to higher levels of crime and air pollution, although this is to be expected for a city of its size,” said Neil Ashman, Senior Location Ratings Analyst at ECA International. “Even so, when compared to other major capital cities in Europe such as Madrid, Berlin, Lisbon and Brussels, we can see that London’s overall living conditions are still slightly worse – with only Rome scoring lower. However, London is still relatively high in the rankings and scores very well in areas such as recreation and the quality of healthcare, so there are still many positives for an expatriate moving to the UK’s capital city.”

Although Berlin’s scores for natural phenomena and language limitations are worse than London’s, crime is considered somewhat less of an issue based on expatriate feedback and external sources. The same goes for Lisbon and Madrid, where although the language barrier is more of an issue, both cities score better for crime.

Eastern European cities tend to be some of the worst-performing European locations, with Belgrade, Sarajevo and Minsk all outside the top 100 in the rankings. However, Chisinau, Moldova is the worst-performing European city on the list at a lowly 198th. The Moldovan capital scores poorly on a range of criteria, including availability of healthcare and international schooling.

Why Europeans fare well in Canada

Canadian cities in ECA’s report score better than many cities in Europe. Air pollution is low, personal security is good, and most Canadians speak English (which cannot be said for most cities in Spain and Italy, for example). Many Canadians also speak French, the third most widely spoken language in Europe.

“Canadian cities, namely Toronto and Vancouver, are relatively easy for European expatriates to adapt to thanks to excellent infrastructure and facilities coupled with low levels of pollution and crime,” explained Ashman. “It’s for the same reasons that Canberra in Australia and Wellington in New Zealand also score well for Europeans despite their geographical distance from home.”

Austin and Boston in the USA also score better than some cities in the UK, France and Italy despite their distance from Europe, again due to lower air pollution as well as a better language score. English is of course spoken by the majority of residents in the US; however, Spanish is also widely spoken in Texas due to its Mexican influence.

Singapore most liveable location in Asia for Europeans

Singapore offers the best quality of living for European expats in Asia, mostly due to its culture score compared to other Asian cities. Singapore is also considered to be much safer in terms of personal security than many European cities.

“The large number of expats in Singapore, combined with a low crime rate and lower levels of pollution than many of its regional neighbours, means it remains the most liveable city in Asia for Europeans,” said Ashman.

Uruguay offers best living conditions in South America

South American locations tend to feature lower down the rankings for European expats, with Montevideo, Uruguay and Santiago, Chile the only cities to feature in the top 125. However, compared with many other South American cities in the list, Montevideo has a very favourable score for socio-political tension, as well as relatively low crime rates, making it the most liveable South American location for Europeans.

Port Louis in Mauritius tops rankings for Africa

Although Port Louis has a fairly high natural phenomena score due to frequent cyclones in the area, the capital city of Mauritius has good air pollution and culture scores.

Ashman explained, “Port Louis has a population where many of the residents speak both French and English. Socio-political tensions in Port Louis are also much lower than in most other cities in Africa.”

Cape Town in South Africa follows Port Louis. Although the city offers a much better score for both natural phenomena and quality of healthcare, its overall rank is below Port Louis. This is mainly due to the very high crime levels the city experiences. There are also issues with utility provision, as evidenced by the extreme water shortages currently being experienced. High crime levels in most African cities make Africa generally the most difficult region to live in.

Location 2018 ranking
Copenhagen, Denmark =1
Bern, Switzerland =1
The Hague, Netherlands 3
Stavanger, Norway =4
Geneva, Switzerland =4
Amsterdam, Netherlands =6
Eindhoven, Netherlands =6
Basel, Switzerland =6
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg =9
Gothenburg, Sweden =9

-ENDS-

About ECA’s Location Ratings

Updated annually, ECA International's Location Ratings System measures the quality of expatriate living conditions in over 480 locations around the world to arrive at a fair and consistent assessment of the level of difficulty the expatriate will experience in adapting to a new location. Factors evaluated include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

Figures used in this release were taken from ECA's 2018 Location Ratings Report.

For more information, visit www.eca-international.com.

About ECA International (www.eca-international.com)

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions - every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

- ECA International reveals best and worst cities for air pollution, transport infrastructure, personal security and cultural barriers for European expats - Canadian cities offer Europeans better quality of life than many cities in Europe - Singapore continues to be the most liveable Asian city for Europeans

Read more »

Hong Kong remains outside the top 25 most liveable cities for Asian expats

Press Releases   •   Mar 13, 2018 12:18 GMT

- Hong Kong remains outside the top 25 at joint 28th in the liveability rankings - Singapore tops the list for most liveable location for Asian expats - Kuala Lumpur continues to drop and is only 126th in the rankings

Images & Videos 3 images

About ECA International

ECA International is the market leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

We provide data, software and expertise to multinational companies to help them manage and reward their international staff effectively.

Address

  • ECA International
  • New Brook Buildings, 16 Great Queen Street
  • WC2B 5DG London
  • United Kingdom