Monday, February 4, 2013

Kathmandu third cheapest city in the world

Kathmandu is the third cheapest city in the world, according to an annual survey released today.
Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan were the joint cheapest locations in the survey followed by New Delhi, Kathmandu and Algerian capital of Algiers, revealed the Economist Intelligence Unit’s worldwide cost of living index.
Rounding out the bottom 10 were Bucharest in Romania, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Panama City, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and Iranian capital Tehran, added the survey that is based on costs of over 160 items ranging from food and clothing, to domestic help, transport and utilities.
Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, Oslo and Melbourne are the top five most expensive cities, whereas Canadian city of Vancouver remains the most expensive location in North America, ranked 21st in the index. But while Asia and Australasia are home to 11 of the 20 most expensive cities, the region is also home to six of the 10 cheapest. 
Asia and Australasia account for 11 of the world’s top 20 most expensive cities, with eight from Europe and one from South America, no North American cities featured in the top 20, it added.
This compared to a decade ago when there were six Asian cities, 10 European cities and four US cities in the top 20 of the list that calculates living costs in 131 cities in 93 countries and is used by companies for costings when relocating staff, according to the survey.
In the 2013 survey, Tokyo reclaimed the title as the world’s most expensive city.
Jon Copestake, editor of the EIU Worldwide Cost of Living Index, said the return of Tokyo to top of the list came as no great surprise as the Japanese capital had steep real estate costs and rents, as well as high wages fuelling prices.
Since 1992 Tokyo has been the top-ranking city in every year bar six when Zurich, Paris and Oslo claimed the No 1 spot. Currency swings pushed Zurich into the No 1 position last year but government exchange rate controls have driven the Swiss city back to No 7 in the list.
Copestake said one of the most notable changes was the rising costs in Australia, with Sydney third in the list and Melbourne fifth.
“Ten years ago there were no Australian cities in the top 50 most expensive cities and I have not seen this sort of climb with any other cities,” he said, adding that economic growth has, however, supported inflation and the strength of the Australian dollar against other currencies besides the US dollar has driven up costs. "Visitors will certainly feel the difference and people living there will have noticed prices have crept up.”
Also featured in the 2013 top 10 were Singapore, Zurich, Paris, the Venezuelan capital of Caracas and Geneva.
Although no North American cities feature in the top 20, the EIU said the cost of living in New York had risen relative to other places in the US. It shares 27th position as the most expensive US city with Los Angeles.


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