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Costlier goods in S'pore due to small market size, higher transport costs

Publication Date : 29-04-2014


Some consumer products are more expensive in Singapore compared with other cities, partly due to the Republic's small market size and the higher transport costs of bringing products into the country.

This is according to a study commissioned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), which sampled 647 products from Apple, Ikea, and Zara.

The study, which was released on Tuesday, compared the prices of these products across 11 cities including Singapore.

Singapore's prices are above the median average for two thirds of the items, and below the median mark for a quarter of them.

It is the most expensive location for 6 per cent of the products sampled.

Singapore's small market size is the likely main cause of the relatively higher prices of some goods compared with similarly high-cost cities such as Hong Kong and New York, the study found.

Prices also tend to be lower in cities located close to the source country, as the three global brands build transport costs into product prices.

Given that the analysis centres on only three brands, the findings should not be taken as representative of differences in the overall cost of living across cities, the MAS said.


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