Economist Intelligence Unit Current Affairs - 2020

Global Microscope for Financial Inclusion report 2019: EIU

The 2019 edition of ‘Global Microscope: The enabling environment for Financial Inclusion’ report was released by Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU). The report is a benchmarking index that assesses enabling environment for financial access as well as underscores the evolving landscape of financial inclusion in selected countries. The year 2019 was 12th edition of report.

Key Highlights of Report

The overall environment for financial inclusion has improved worldwide. India, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay now have the most favourable conditions for inclusive finance, with Colombia being ranked at first position followed by Peru, Uruguay and Mexico and India ranked 5th.

India was ranked among top countries with most promising environment for financial inclusion in terms of:  effective financial consumer , allowing non-banks to issue e-money and proportionate customer due diligence.

Only four countries namely India, Colombia, Jamaica and Uruguay scored perfectly across all four parameters. Moreover, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Mexico and Uruguay were among top countries that safeguard e-money via some sort of deposit insurance or protection.

About Global Microscope for Financial Inclusion report

It is produced by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist Group. The EIU was created in 1946 and is the world leader in global business intelligence.

The Microscope report was first published in 2007 and was originally developed for countries in Latin American and Caribbean regions but in 2009 it was expanded into a global study. The 2019 edition of Global Microscope report also features 11 new gender focussed indicators that measure financial inclusion for both women as well as men.

The report is a benchmarking index that assesses enabling environment for financial access in 55 countries across 5 categories.

Five parameters across which countries are assessed-

(a)Government and Policy Support

(b)Products and Outlets

(c)Stability and Integrity

(d)Consumer Protection


Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019 by Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit has released the report of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019.

Findings of the Survey

  • For the first time in its 30-year history, three cities have been accorded the title of the world’s most expensive city in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • Singapore which top’s of the rankings for the sixth consecutive year is joined there by Hong Kong and Paris.
  • Zurich in Switzerland stood at the fourth position followed by Japan’s Osaka which shared fifth place with Geneva, also in Switzerland.
  • Seoul (South Korea), Copenhagen (Denmark) and New York (US) were jointly placed at the seventh spot.
  • Los Angeles (US) along with Israel’s Tel Aviv was named the 10th most expensive city in the world.
  • The cost of living in Chinese cities remains relatively stable, while Southeast Asian destinations were moving up the ranks.
  • Weaker local currencies have pushed all five Australian and two New Zealand cities surveyed down in the ranking.
  • While parts of Asia remain the most expensive places on Earth, Asian Cities also makes several appearances at the bottom of the list.
  • World’s cheapest cities include Caracas (Venezuela), Damascus (Syria), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Karachi (Pakistan), Lagos (Nigeria), Buenos Aires (Argentina) as well as the three Indian cities of Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi.


The Survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services in cities around the world by keeping New York as the benchmark city.