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Double digit inflation in China over the last 12 months is having a significant impact on the cost of living and is becoming a cause for concern for many expats in China. This does not however seem to have caused a slowdown in the growth of Research & Development and other foreign businesses setting up in China.
We are now starting to see the cost of living in other business centres rising to compare with the likes of Shanghai and Beijing, which have always been recognised as expensive for expats in China. Notably, Shenzen and Guangzhou have leapt up the global cost rankings in certain surveys to find themselves ahead of cities such as Madrid and London. Beijing and Shanghai have also now placed ahead of Singapore in a cost of living ranking published last month by ECA International, an international recruitment agency.
The increase of the Chinese renminbi against the euro has been significant in the rise in the cost of living ranking of Chinese cities over their European counterparts. Expats in China may be well advised to seek good advice on which currencies to hold their savings and investments as well as the currency in which they actually receive remuneration.
Whilst many surveys monitoring the relative cost of living around the world use different methods of calculation which give rise to different results, it cannot be doubted that the current trend seen by expats in China is definitely one of significantly rising costs. It is important to keep this in mind when making financial plans. Ensuring that savings keep up with inflation trends whilst making certain that day to day expenses are covered requires careful and professional planning.
The flow of expertise and senior personnel into China to support local and western business interests continues. Despite any concerns over cost of living increases, expats in China continue to be a significant factor in developing the Chinese commercial sector.
The world as a whole is witnessing a period of notable inflation and China’s popularity as a commercial centre keeps rising; cost of living increases are unavoidable. The smart money will always keep pace with inflation by seeking out good advice from professional advisers. Infinity is well positioned and experienced across Asia to be able to provide the solutions sought by expats in China.