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Price Index
If you are coming to Singapore and already have a contract, or are discussing one, the ‘cost of living’ or ‘price index’ is probably a good indicator you should keep in mind when you are negotiating your salary. The Price Index is the ratio between the ‘costs’ in home country currency of a basket of goods and services between the home country and, in this case, Singapore. A value of 110 meaning that that basket will cost 10% more in the new place (a little more on that in the financial > expat section).

These baskets are established and compared by specialized companies and can include anything from a carton of milk to an insurance. Generally, they are useful indicators for your negotiation, but the number does not actually tell you how much that carton of milk costs of course, and that’s where we come in. The list below includes some common household goods and their price in Singapore Dollars, on the date indicated, at a regular supermarket somewhere in Singapore (more on supermarkets here). Since most goods are imported, price ranges can be wide. We are not bargain hunting here, nor are we taking the top-of-the-line, these are normal prices. Please note that in Singapore, all taxes are included in the prices shown.

Your Daily Bread - 12 January 2008
Item Price in S$ Remarks
Apples, Granny Smith / pc 0.50
Bananas, 100 gr 0.16
Beer (lager), 1 can 0.3 l 2.85 Tiger (Singaporean)
Bread, 1 loaf wholemeal 420 gr 2.00 Gardenia
Butter, 250 gr 4.85 (Denmark)
Carrots 0.5 kg 1.20 Australia
Cereal, 150 gr 3.45 Nestle Honey Stars
Cornflakes 150 gr 2.05 Nestle
Cheese, Processed 12 slice (250 gr) 4.40 Kraft
Cheese, 100 gr Edam young 1.99
Coffee, ground 200 gram 6.80 Espresso grind
Eggs, 10 pc 3.80 'omega 3'
Fish, Salmon filet / kg 29.90
Jam, blackcurrant 500 gr 4.05 IXL
Mango /100 gr 0.66
Margarine, 500 gr 3.90 MeadowLea
Milk, 1 liter fresh 3.00 Farmhouse (Australia)
Olive Oil, 0.5 l 10.10 Bertolli
Orange Juice, 1 liter 1.78 MariGold
Peanut Butter, 500 gr 4.20 Skippy
Potatoes, 2.27 kg 3.20 USA
Rice, fragrant Thai 5 kg 9.75 bigger bags cheaper
Salad, iceberg / pc 2.00 USA
Steak, striploin / kg 42.70 Australian
Tomatoes 100 gr 0.25 Malaysian
Water, 1.5 l 1.05 Ice Mountain
Keep it Clean - 12 January 2008
Dishwashing detergent 50 tablets 11.00 Somat
Laundry detergent 3 kg 7.25 Fab

For those who like the Economist's 'Burgernomics' approach (the way to value a country's currency based on a standard product i.e. a Big Mac) I prefer their Starbucks Latte comparison, because that's where this is typed; a tall Latte cost S$5.10 on 12 January 2008.

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Further Reading

Taxes

Banking

Currencies

Credit Cards

Price Index

Asset Management

General - cost of living

Singapore - cost of living

Related Links

Singapore Department of Statistics

SICC - publication on Expatriate living costs in Singapore

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