Tel Aviv world's most expensive city, Singapore ties for second place with Paris: Survey

LONDON (AFP) – Israeli city Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive place to live in as soaring inflation has pushed up living costs globally, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey published on Wednesday (Dec 1).

Paris and Singapore came joint second followed by Zurich and Hong Kong. Singapore was fourth in the same survey released in November last year.

New York was in sixth this year, 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.

Tel Aviv climbed five rungs to score top place for the first time in the ranking.

The Worldwide Cost of Living Index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities.

The Israeli city climbed the rankings partly due to the strength of the national currency, the shekel, against the dollar, as well as increases in prices for transport and groceries.

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 per cent 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 Ms 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 Teheran.

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.

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