Financial News

Tokyo takes over as the world’s most expensive city for expats

The world’s most expensive city for expats is Tokyo, Japan – thrusting last year’s top placed Luanda, Angola, in to second, according to the latest Mercer Cost of Living Survey.

Another Japanese city, Osaka, is third, while Moscow and Geneva keep their fourth and fifth places from 2011.

Singapore and Zurich share sixth, with Ndjamena, Chad, dropping five places to eighth, and Hong Kong staying in ninth. Nagoya, Japan, was 10th.

Karachi is the world’s least expensive city for expats, less than one-third as expensive as Tokyo.

Economic and political turmoil have affected the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, inflation, and volatility in housing costs, comments Mercer.

The study covers 214 cities across five continents, measuring the comparative cost of a basket of 200 goods and services in each place, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Prices in New York set the base for the index. The city comes 33rd in the rankings as is the most expensive city to live in North America – Sao Paulo, Brazil (12) is the most expensive expat city in the Americas.

Mercer’s Nathalie Constantin-Métral said: “Deploying expat employees is an increasingly important aspect of business strategy for multinational companies. Keeping a keen eye on cost efficiency is essential, including on expatriate remuneration packages.

“Making sure salaries adequately reflect the difference in cost of living to the employee’s home country is important in order to attract and retain the right talent where companies need them.”

Compared with New York, most European cities have seen living costs drop.

In Asia, more than 60% of cities moved up the rankings, including all those surveyed in Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand.

Cities in Australia and New Zealand saw some of the biggest jumps as their currencies strengthened significantly against the US dollar.

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