Buenos Aires is more expensive than Tokyo in third year of record prices

Buenos Aires, Argentina, has dethroned Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world, according to the annual report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that ranks cities based on cost of living. Its price…

Buenos Aires is more expensive than Tokyo in third year of record prices

Buenos Aires, Argentina, has dethroned Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world, according to the annual report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that ranks cities based on cost of living. Its price of living nearly doubled between last year’s study and this year’s, rising from 123 to 181. Bangkok also had a significant increase, from 181 to 182, and Mumbai leapt from 178 to 183. Two Indian cities, Mumbai and New Delhi, occupied the top three spots in last year’s report. Tokyo dropped to fourth, from second.

Five Asian cities were in the top 20, along with two cities in North America, Vancouver and Toronto. Buenos Aires was more expensive than any city in Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, or the Middle East. Its advance, while being attributed to higher prices for food, transport, and other expenses, has also been largely attributed to the depreciation of the peso, which fell from 30 to the dollar at the beginning of the year to about 30 today.

By contrast, the report placed New York, Europe’s most expensive city, down two places from last year to 21st, and San Francisco came in at 47th, from 46th last year. London, which has long ranked well below other major cities, fell seven spots from 57th last year to 59th in this year’s study. Paris, which retained its spot as Europe’s most expensive city, dropped to 14th from 12th last year. Moscow and Brussels both rose two places this year to 83rd and 87th, respectively.

When analyzing major differences in prices of goods and services across large cities, including freight fees and energy prices, the report’s editors pointed to widening national income gaps. Cities with increased income levels tend to have less extreme variations in cost of living. “The gap between cities is increasingly widening and greater spread in poverty could increasingly inhibit demand for goods and services,” it said. “This could particularly dampen growth in megacities and hence GDP, which is needed to entice a wider range of capital investments and more job opportunities, particularly given the adverse impact of Brexit on demand.”

It added: “The opportunities and investment one would expect from a growing economy could also in part depend on how the additional costs are treated by the local authorities and population.”

Read the full story at The Independent.

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