Tel Aviv ranked world’s priciest city for first time
Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city to live in as soaring inflation has pushed up living costs globally, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
The Israeli city climbed five rungs to score top place for the first time in the authoritative ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Thai capital Bangkok is ranked the world’s 57th most expensive city, down 11 places from last year’s 46th. It was at the 26th place in 2019.
The Worldwide Cost of Living Index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities.
Tel Aviv climbed the rankings partly due to the strength of the national currency, the shekel, against the dollar, as well increases in prices for transport and groceries.
Paris and Singapore came joint second, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong. New York was in sixth, with Geneva in seventh.
Rounding off the top 10 were Copenhagen in eighth, Los Angeles in ninth and Osaka, Japan, in 10th.
Last year, the survey put Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong in joint first place.
This year’s data was collected in August and September as prices for freight and commodities rose and shows that on average prices rose 3.5 percent in local currency terms — the fastest inflation rate recorded over the past five years.
Social restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic “have disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices,” said Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at The EIU.
“We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the rise in petrol prices particularly stark,” she said, while central banks are expected to raise interest rates cautiously, reducing inflation.
The average inflation figure does not include four cities with exceptionally high rates: Caracas, Damascus, Buenos Aires and Tehran.
The Iranian capital rose from 79th to 29th place in the ranking as US sanctions have pushed up prices and caused shortages.
Damascus was ranked the world’s cheapest city to live in.
AFP, Thai PBS World