Revealed: World’s costliest, cheapest cities to live in

The biggest upward movers are the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, which have shot up the rankings by 88 and 70 places, respectively

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 4 Dec 2022, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Sun 4 Dec 2022, 3:54 PM

Singapore, New York and Tel Aviv are the world’s most expensive cities to live in this year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ‘Cost of Living’ report. Prices have risen by an average of 8.1 per cent in local-currency terms over the past year in the world’s biggest cities.

Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Zurich, Geneva, San Francisco, Paris, Copenhagen and Sydney are the also among the costliest cities, this year.

In 2022, the inflation rate recorded the highest increase in the past 20 years ago with petrol prices seeing the most rapid increases. Utility and food prices have also increased sharply, it added.

The survey, conducted between August 16 and September 16, tracked the prices of over 200 goods and services in 172 cities worldwide.

The biggest upward movers, however, are the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, which have shot up the rankings by 88 and 70 places, respectively.

Capital controls, import suppression and the conversion of European gas payments into roubles are supporting the value of the local currency. Meanwhile, local prices have been driven upward by Western sanctions imposed after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February, this year.

According to our survey of prices, inflation in Moscow is now 17.1 per cent year-on-year in local-currency terms, while in St Petersburg it has reached 19.4 per cent.

Most economical cities

The cheapest cities to live in are Damascus, Tripoli and Tehran due to their weak economies and currencies.

Other economic cities are Tunis Tashkent, Karachi, Almaty, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Algiers, Bangalore and Colombo.

The EIU said the good news is that prices may be starting to ease in some countries as interest rates bite and the global economy slows.

“Supply-chain blockages should also start to ease as freight rates come down and demand softens. Unless the war in Ukraine escalates, we predict that commodity prices for energy, food and for supplies such as metals are likely to fall sharply in 2023 compared with 2022 levels, although they are likely to stay higher than previous levels,” the report said.

Overall, it forecasts that global consumer price inflation will fall from an average of 9.4 per cent this year to a still-high 6.5 per cent in 2023.

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