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  #1  
Old 28-06-2006, 03:34 AM
kanden kanden is offline
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Default Moscow Most Expensive City in the World

Date: 26 June 2006
  • Moscow replaces Tokyo as world’s most expensive city; Asuncion in Paraguay is the cheapest
  • Most Eastern European cities have dropped sharply in the rankings
  • Many US cities have risen in the rankings due to the strength of the dollar



Moscow has replaced Tokyo as the world's most expensive city, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the global leader for HR and related financial advice. Seoul is in second place, climbing three places since last year. Tokyo moves down two positions in the rankings to take third place, followed by Hong Kong. Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive city in the survey.

With New York as the base city scoring 100 points, Moscow scores 123.9 and is nearly three times costlier than Asuncion, which has an index of 43.5.

Mercer's survey covers 144 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world's most comprehensive cost-of-living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees.


"We have seen significant shifts in the cost-of-living rankings over the past few years, reflecting a changing global market. For many companies, it can now be more expensive to send employees to work in Russia or Korea than places like Japan or Switzerland which are often perceived to be more costly," commented Rebecca Powers, a Senior Consultant with Mercer's international business. She added: "More companies are now sending employees on expatriate assignments, so there is a greater need to keep pace with the cost of living changes. Employers need to be proactive in managing their expatriate programs to ensure they receive a proper return on their investment and employees are compensated fairly."


There have been some significant changes in the rankings this year which are primarily due to exchange rate fluctuations, in particular the strengthening of the US dollar.


Europe

Moscow is the most expensive city in Europe and in the rest of the world, with a score of 123.9. "Steep accommodation costs have contributed to the city's high ranking, as the recent property boom has driven up rental prices for expatriates," said Anna Krotova, Senior Researcher at Mercer.

London is the second most expensive city in Europe and ranks in 5th position (score 110.6). "While prices have actually increased slightly over the last year, the strengthening of the dollar against the pound means London has dropped two places since last year," said Ms. Krotova.

Other costly European cities include Geneva in 7th place (103), Copenhagen in 8th (101.1) and Zurich in 9th (100.8) - all have been pushed down one place this year. Oslo remains in 10th place with a score of 100 while St. Petersburg is in 12th position (99.7).

Ms Krotova commented: "The Euro has weakened against a number of currencies, for example the Canadian and US dollars, reducing the cost of living for expatriates in many European countries."

Kiev in Ukraine has moved up from 54th position to reach 21st place (score 89.8). This is mainly due to the appreciation of the local currency, the Hryvna, against the US dollar, together with general price increases. Many other Eastern European cities have dropped sharply in the ranking due to the devaluation of local currencies against the US dollar. For example, Prague has fallen 22 places to rank 50th with a score of 82.1.

Leipzig is Europe's cheapest city in 123rd position with a score of 68.1.


The Americas

New York remains the most expensive city in North America and climbs
three places to 10th position (score 100). Currency appreciation is the main reason for this, although price increases in fuel and certain consumer goods have also contributed to New York's rise in the rankings. Other high-ranking cities include Los Angeles in position 29 (86.7), San Francisco in 34th place (85) and Chicago in 38th position (84.1). Washington DC takes 83rd place (77). Winston Salem is the cheapest US city surveyed, ranked 124th (66.7).

"The strengthening of the US dollar against the European and other major currencies is a large contributor to the rise of most US cities in the rankings," commented Ms Powers.

Though still relatively inexpensive and benefiting from stable inflation, Canadian cities continue to move up the rankings due to the strength of the Canadian dollar. Toronto is the most expensive city in Canada and moves up from 82nd to 47th place (82.6). Ottawa remains the least expensive Canadian city but has climbed 32 places from 122nd to 90th (75.6).

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the most expensive cities in Latin America moving up from 119th and 124th positions to 34th and 40th place respectively. These movements are due to the strong appreciation of the Brazilian Real against the US dollar (more than 20 %), which has occurred as a result of solid economic growth and increased foreign investment over the last two years, together with reduced public debt and high interest rates. In particular, the cost of international-standard accommodation has risen significantly in these cities.

Asuncion in Paraguay remains the least expensive city globally, in 144th position with a score of 43.5. Other cheap cities include Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Caracas in 142nd place (score 54.8.), 138th (56.5) and 136th (57.2) respectively.

Puerto Rico has experienced high inflation during the last year which, together with the strength of the country's currency (US dollar), means San Juan is the costliest city in Central America and the Caribbean in 55th position (score 81.4). San Jose is the least expensive in 134th place (58.1). Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is in 126th position (65.3) and has dropped 27 places due to the depreciation of the Dominican Peso against the US dollar.

Asia

Three of the world's ten costliest cities are in Asia, with Seoul moving up from 5th to second place. While Tokyo has lost its title of the world most expensive city because of currency fluctuations between the Japanese Yen and the US dollar, it still ranks highly and takes third place. Hong Kong is in 4th position.


"Chinese cities have moved up slightly in the rankings as the value of the Yuan renminbi is now pegged to a number of currencies rather than just the US dollar," said Ms Krotova. Beijing is in position 14 (score 94.9) followed by Shanghai in 20th place (91.2).

Australasia

Auckland and Wellington have dropped in the rankings this year to positions 100 and 105 respectively (scores 72.9 and 71.1) due to the significant devaluation of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar. Sydney is still the most expensive city in the region at 19th place with a score of 91.3. Melbourne occupies 74th place (78.8) while Brisbane is in 99th position (73.2).

Individual reports are produced for each city surveyed. For further information visit www.mercerhr.com/costofliving, or call Mercer Global Information Services in Geneva at +41 22 869 3000.

The figures for Mercer's cost of living comparisons are based on a survey conducted in March 2006. The 2006 comparisons are based on a similar survey conducted in March 2005. The information is used by governments and major companies to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad. The choice of cities surveyed is based on the demand for corresponding data from companies and governmental organizations. Exchange rates used in cost comparisons: 1 GBP = 1.75 USD; 1 GBP = 1.46 EUR.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting is a global leader for HR and related financial advice and services, with more than 16,500 employees serving clients from more than 185 cities and 41 countries and territories worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., which lists its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) on the New York, Chicago, Pacific and London stock exchanges.


Source: Mercer HR
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Last edited by kanden : 28-06-2006 at 03:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 28-06-2006, 03:43 AM
kanden kanden is offline
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Asia
Four of the world's ten costliest cities are in Asia, with Seoul moving
up from 5th to second place. While Tokyo has lost its title of the world
most expensive city because of currency fluctuations between the Japanese
Yen and the US dollar, it still ranks highly and takes third place. Hong
Kong is in 4th position.
"Chinese cities have moved up slightly in the rankings as the value of
the Yuan renminbi is now pegged to a number of currencies rather than just
the US dollar," said Anna Krotova, Senior Researcher at Mercer. Beijing is
in position 14 (score 94.9) followed by Shanghai in 20th place (91.2).
"Singapore moved from 34 to 17th position as prices on rents of
international standard accommodation have significantly increased during
the period from March 2005 to March 2006. In addition, the Singapore dollar
has very slightly appreciated against the US dollar," said Neo Siew Khim,
Mercer Principal and Human Capital Product Solutions Business Leader, Asia
Pacific.
Mumbai moved from 105th place to 68th place (score from 70.8 to 79.9)
while New Delhi moved up from 110th place to 73rd place (score from 69.9 to
79). New Delhi and Mumbai's ranking increased significantly due to
increasing costs on international standard accommodation. Rents have
increased dramatically in Mumbai due to the increase in capital value and
an acute shortage of expatriate accommodation.
Australasia
Auckland and Wellington have dropped in the rankings this year to
positions 100 and 105 respectively (scores 72.9 and 71.1) due to the
significant devaluation of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar.
Sydney is still the most expensive city in the region at 19th place with a
score of 91.3. Melbourne occupies 74th place (78.8) while Brisbane is in
99th position (73.2).

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The above relevant snippets r sourced from PR Newswire
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  #3  
Old 28-06-2006, 03:45 AM
kanden kanden is offline
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Kuala Lumpur is ranked 114th in terms of cost of living
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Old 28-06-2006, 10:00 AM
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I did say that London is an expensive city to live in, work in and survive in!
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Old 28-06-2006, 12:08 PM
kris kris is offline
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The costs of living of the cities per se do not mean much. They serve to provide the comparison to people who travels about to various countries.

Obviously, how expensive a place is is relative to the income/earning power of the peole. If you take that into consideration, KL might be among the more expensive places to live.
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Old 28-06-2006, 12:57 PM
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I totally agree with kris. If you take the average income into consideration, even Ipoh is not as cheap as you might think. KL is definitely an expensive city to live.
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Old 28-06-2006, 04:00 PM
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We had dinner at Japanese at Bangsar or SS.....Sugimoto.....no cheap.

We had a curry fish head lunch at Restaurant Kampong Pandan in KL.......no cheap.

We had a set lunch at Noble House in KL of abolene and what not for 4 of us...no cheap.... RM$890.00....no joke

Kuala Lumpur is berry expensive.

Last edited by Uncle-Cle : 28-06-2006 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 28-06-2006, 04:26 PM
kanden kanden is offline
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Quote:
The figures for Mercer's cost of living comparisons are based on a survey conducted in March 2006. The 2006 comparisons are based on a similar survey conducted in March 2005. The information is used by governments and major companies to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad. The choice of cities surveyed is based on the demand for corresponding data from companies and governmental organizations. Exchange rates used in cost comparisons: 1 GBP = 1.75 USD; 1 GBP = 1.46 EUR.

The above report on cost of living is generally from the perspective of expats. They convert to a base currency (USD i think) & work out the sums based on similar spending patterns/requirements.

For the man on the street, it would be better if there's a report that is based on:
1) average income
2) basic requirements (food,shelter,transport,energy,utilities)
3) amenities/leisure

However, while such a report would be useful to the average Joe, it would not have commercial value ...

My opinion is KL is expensive. Mainly because the ringgit is weak compared to most foreign currencies. I would say the main factor is strength of the countries local currency & taxation policies.

I think pple in countries poorer than Msia have it worse cos their currency is weaker & imported (ie quality) products much more expensive.
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