LONDON – Angola’s capital Luanda retained the unenviable title of the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, narrowly edging out Tokyo, according to a survey published Tuesday.
At the other end of the scale, the Mercer group’s study named the Pakistani port Karachi as the least expensive city, with living around three times cheaper than in Luanda.
Oil-rich Angola is a magnet for foreign workers who push up already high prices inflated by a reliance on imports.
The southern African nation’s domestic production lags behind its neighbours due to the effects of a 27-year-long civil war on its infrastructure.
Another African city, the Chadian capital N’Djamena, was placed third with Moscow fourth and Geneva fifth.
Paris dropped 10 places to 27th while London dropped one place to 18th. New York at 32nd was named as the most expensive metropolis in the United States.
Mercer senior researcher Nathalie Constantin-Metraln said: “In most Western European cities the cost of living for expatriates has remained relatively stable over the last 12 months.
“However, many of the region’s cities have still dropped in the ranking. In large, this is because all cities are compared to New York and price increases there have been more significant than in most European cities,” she added.
Australian cities jumped sharply in the ranking, reflecting the local currency’s 14 percent gain against the US dollar.
The report, which is published annually to help companies assess compensation allowances for expatriate workers, compared the cost of over 200 items including housing, food and transport in 214 cities, using New York as a reference.
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