So, we're the 19th most expensive city for expatriates:
Manila has been found to be Asia’s 19th costliest city for expatriates, according to the latest twice-yearly survey by human resources firm ECA International that surveyed 39 select cities in the region.
Jakarta was the 11th most expensive place and Bangkok was in 18th place, while Hanoi landed in 32nd place — more expensive than Kuala Lumpur which was in 33rd place and just a notch above the Laotian capital Vientianne.
Islamabad was the least expensive among the Asian cities surveyed at number 39, while Seoul was judged Asia’s costliest city for expatriates.
We're cheaper than Jakarta and Bangkok, but more expensive than Hanoi or K.L. (What makes KL so cheap?)
As far as Asia goes, we're the 29th most expensive city to live in, but we're 191st world wide.
How do they compute the cost of living?
ECA International’s cost of living indices are calculated based upon surveys carried out annually in March and September using a basket of day-to-day goods and services. The data used above refers to ECA’s September 2007 survey.
Certain living costs such as accommodation, utilities (electricity, gas, water costs), car purchase 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.
I bet you it's the cost of electricity that's driving our rank up because we're still low in the list as far as the Bigmac index is concerned.