Asia Becoming Too Expensive For Weste...

Asia Becoming Too Expensive For Westerners!!

Posted in the China Forum


Brooklyn, NY

#1 Dec 9, 2012
Mercer, a human resources consultancy, has released its annual survey ranking cities according to the cost of living for expatriates. Tokyo regained its place at the top, as last year’s No. 1, Luanda, Angola, slipped a notch. Of course, this is not a list that it necessarily pays to be at the top of.

The survey considers the cost of some 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothes and household goods. New York is the baseline; because of this, the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar — in addition to the actual cost of items — can also affect the ranking of most cities. If the dollar has gone up against your currency, it makes your city cheaper relative to New York. With investors buying both the yen and the dollar as safe hedges against turmoil in the euro zone, Tokyo has gotten more expensive in dollar terms.

And London has become less expensive. That must be the only explanation for the E.U.’s biggest city falling from 18th place last year to 25th this year, as Paris went from 27th last year to 37th this year.(We don’t know why Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, has jumped from 61st to 36th.)

Asian cities — not surprisingly, given where most companies see future opportunity — are climbing the cost ladder. Five of the 10 most expensive cities are in Asia: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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