Sun and sand … and rising cost of living.
Tel Aviv, Israel, was ranked as the most expensive city in the world, according to this year’s Worldwide Cost of Living report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit on Wednesday.
The Mediterranean metropolis rose to the top spot from fifth place last year, beating Paris and Singapore, who were tied for second place. The top American city on the list, New York, came in sixth, ahead of Hong Kong and Zurich. Los Angeles was the only other American city in the top 10, and came in at number nine, ahead of Osaka, Japan.
Part of the reason for Tel Aviv̵[ads1]7;s rise to the top was the strength of the currency, the shekel, when it is converted into dollars, the report states. Prices there in shekels increased by around 1.6 per cent, led by groceries, household goods, cars and fuel. The city was the second most expensive place to buy alcohol.
Although the report does not include property prices, it noted that they have also risen in Tel Aviv, especially in residential areas. There is a huge strain on locals’ wallets, according to Oren Kessler, a political analyst and author who moved to Tel Aviv from Washington DC two years ago.
“Prices here are equally if not more expensive than in Washington, but wages can not be compared,” he said in a telephone interview, noting that the price of a renovated apartment in the capital was equal to the price of an older place in Tel. Aviv. “Most Israelis want to spend time here at some point. It’s a magnet in that sense. “
Overall, this year’s cross-city inflation rate was the fastest recorded in the last five years at 3.5 per cent. This figure was pushed up by the rising cost of transportation, as well as by the cost of recreation, tobacco and personal care. In 2020, inflation increased by 1.9 percent, while it was up 2.8 percent in 2019, according to the report.
Although gas prices in the United States have risen in recent months, no city in the United States has become the world’s top 10 most expensive cities for gas. That list was led by Hong Kong, where it cost around $ 9.25 per gallon, followed by Amsterdam, where it was just over $ 8 per gallon. The average price of a liter of gas, equivalent to just over a quarter of a gallon, was up by 21 percent across the cities measured.
The index looked at the price of goods and services in 173 countries around the world.
“Over the next year, we expect to see living costs rise further in many cities as wages rise in many sectors,” said Upasana Dutt. head of worldwide living costs at the Economist Intelligence Unit, in a press release. “However, we also expect central banks to raise interest rates, cautiously, to curb inflation. So price increases should begin to moderate from this year’s level.”
Just over 130 miles from Tel Aviv, Damascus was ranked as the world’s cheapest city. Prices there have fallen as the country’s war-torn economy has struggled, according to the report. Tripoli, Tashkent, Tunis and Almaty, Kazakhstan rounded by the world’s five cheapest cities.