The World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities To Live In.

The World’s 10 Most Expensive Cities To Live In

Paris and Zurich have overtaken Singapore and Osaka to rank alongside Hong Kong as the most expensive cities in the world.

The Economist Intelligent Unit’s 30th biannual World Cost of Living Index, published today, compares the prices for goods and services across 133 major cities. Carried out in September, it provides the first in-depth global study on the impact of the coronavirus on prices.

The study found that currency movements were the key driver of affordability changes. The strengthening euro and Swiss franc pushed Paris and Zurich to the top of the charts, both up four places from last year. Geneva jumped three places year-on-year to joint seventh, with Copenhagen up two in joint ninth.

Prices in Singapore fell back from joint first with Osaka to fourth this year, as the pandemic resulted in thousands of overseas workers leaving, shrinking the city state’s population for the first time since 2003.

Osaka saw similar trends, the report said, as well as flatlining consumer prices and the government stepping in to subsidize public transport costs. It slipped from joint first to joint fifth in the rankings, sharing that spot with Tel Aviv.

The weakening U.S. dollar saw New York drop back three places to joint seventh and Los Angeles go down one to joint ninth.

Upasana Dutt, the EIU’s head of Worldwide Cost of Living, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to weaken while western European and North Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services.

“The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior, as lockdowns and working from home have led to a demand for goods such as computers or meal boxes to dramatically increase.”

Despite the pandemic, the cost of consumer goods and services have “remained fairly flat” through the last year. Lockdown did impact some sectors more than others, however, with the prices of essential goods proving “more resilient” than those of non-essential goods, such as clothing, which saw the steepest fall.

Recreation saw the biggest price jumps, with consumer electronics hit by disruption to the supply chain, leading to personal computer prices rising significantly.

Overall, the biggest price drops were seen in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, both in Brazil, due to currency weakness and rising poverty levels. The report said this reflects “a trend seen across numerous cities in Latin America. Buenos Aires and Caracas remain in the top ten cheapest cities in the world”.

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