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Zurich, Singapore world's most expensive cities: The Economist

GreenWatch Desk Admin1 2023-11-30, 10:07am

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Zurich and Singapore are the most expensive cities in the world ahead of New York amid the ever-rising cost of living, according to rankings published Thursday by The Economist magazine.

The British weekly estimated that prices have increased an average of 7.4 percent over the past year in 173 major cities, a slight slowdown compared to a record 8.1 percent inflation in 2022.

"The cost of living crisis is far from over and price levels remain well above historic trends" said Upasana Dutt, who led the study, which is based on the price of 200 products and services.

"We expect inflation to decelerate further in 2024," she added, due to the effects of interest rate hikes by central banks to fight price increases.

Zurich dethroned New York, which topped the rankings last year alongside Singapore.

Four of the top 10 cities are in Europe, a result of continued high inflation affecting food and clothing, as well as the appreciation of the euro against the dollar.

The ranking is made in dollars, and converts other currencies to the greenback accordingly, which results to higher prices in the eurozone as the euro strengthens.

In addition to Zurich, Geneva tied in third place with New York, followed by Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Paris placed seventh, while Copenhagen and Tel Aviv -- which topped the ranking in 2021 -- tied at eighth.

San Francisco rounded out the list.

The largest drops in rankings were seen by the Russian cities Moscow, listed at 142nd place, and Saint Petersburg at 147, a reflection of the weakening ruble due to hefty sanctions in response its war in Ukraine, reports BSS.

The cheapest city in the world is Damascus, according to the ranking, followed by Tehran.