BBC News – Tokyo is world’s ‘most expensive city’ for expat staff
The yen’s rise against the dollar pushed up the cost of living for staff and firms paid in other currencies.
London ranked 25, down seven places.
Eurozone costs fall
Accommodation remains the biggest cost for overseas staff, accounting for 25% of spending, according to the Mercer research, which looked at the cost of living in 214 cities. That is followed by transport and utility bills.
Falling incomes and rising unemployment due to recession in most eurozone countries have depressed prices.
In Paris, the rent on an unfurnished, two-bedroom luxury property fell 3% to $3,041 (£1,964), according to Mercer. Rental costs in Rome, Berlin and Madrid were also down.
But, perhaps the biggest impact on prices has been the exchange rate. The euro has fallen 16% since its peak in May. That translates into a 16% discount for staff and companies operating in the eurozone.
Rising Asian costs
In comparison, the relative boom in many Asia-Pacific economies has pushed up bills for expats based in the region.
In Shanghai, spending on accommodation has risen 73%. Rents in the world’s most expensive property market, Hong Kong, rose 23% to $7,039 for a two-bedroom apartment. Rents in Beijing were up 15%.
Mercer based its findings on prices gathered between March 2011 and March 2012.
Strange Random Cost of Living Quote:
“The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart.” – W. C. Fields (American Comic and Actor, 1880-1946)
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