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LONDON (AFP) – Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city to live in, with rising inflation driving up the cost of living globally, according to a survey published Wednesday.
The Israeli city climbed five places to take the top spot for the first time in a reliable ranking compiled by the Economic Information Unit (EIU).
The global cost of living index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities.
Tel Aviv rose in the rankings in part because of the strength of the national currency, the shekel, against the dollar, as well as higher prices for transportation and groceries.
Paris and Singapore came in second, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong. New York came in sixth, and Geneva in seventh.
Among the top ten, Copenhagen was eighth, Los Angeles ninth and Osaka, Japan, tenth.
Last year, the survey placed Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong in first place.
This year’s data was collected in August and September as freight and goods prices rose, and showed that prices rose on average 3.5 percent in local currency – the fastest rate of inflation on record in the past five years.
Social restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have “disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and soaring prices,” said Upasana Dutt, head of the worldwide cost of living division at the EIU.
“We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with gasoline prices rising particularly starkly,” she said, while central banks are expected to cautiously raise interest rates, reducing inflation.
The average rate of inflation does not include four cities with exceptionally high rates: Caracas, Damascus, Buenos Aires, and Tehran.
The Iranian capital rose from 79th to 29th place in the ranking as US sanctions drove up prices and caused shortages.
Damascus has been ranked as the cheapest city in the world to live in.
© 2021 AFP