Prague is 95th most-expensive city

The annual chart by the Economist Intelligence Unit confirms that Prague is cheap

Prague was ranked as the 95th most expensive out of 133 global cities ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit, falling from 88th place in the previous list. Singapore came in first for the fourth year in a row in the annual cost of living index. Hong Kong was second, followed by Zurich, Tokyo and Osaka. The recovery of the Japanese yen has pushed the latter two cities up in the chart, as they had not been in the top 10.

New York came in at number nine on the list and was tied with Copenhagen. New York is used as the benchmark for the survey. Almaty was the cheapest place. The survey has been carried out for 30 years.

The survey compares the prices of 160 goods and services in 133 cities and is aimed at human resources managers so they can calculate compensation packages. They survey found that Singapore was 20 percent more expensive than New York and 5 percent more than second-placed Hong Kong.

Prices have been rising in Asia, and as a result European cities have been dropping in the rankings. Ten years ago European cities accounted for eight out of the top 10 cities, and now there are just four in the top 10 — Zurich (3), Geneva (tied for 7), Paris (7) and Copenhagen (tied for 9).

Prague was ranked in between Athens, Manila and Bandar Seri Begawan (formerly Brunei Town), which tied for 92nd place, and Kuala Lampur at 96th place.

Prague is still one of the more expensive places in the CEE region. Moscow came in 98th place, Warsaw was 103rd, Budapest was 108th, Belgrade was 111th and Sofia was 112th.

The drop in value of the British pound after the Brexit referendum caused London and Manchester to drop sharply in the rankings. London hit its lowest position in 20 years, at 24th place. London had been in sixth place the year before. This means London is now cheaper than New York. Manchester dropped to 51st place from 26th place in the previous ranking.

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the biggest gainers. They climbed to rank 78th and 86th respectively from 107th and 113th they year before.

American cities dropped in the rankings but they still remain expensive compared with five years ago, when New York was ranked in 46th place, the Economist stated. The only two of the 16 US cities covered in the survey to rise were San Francisco and Lexington, Kentucky, at 32 and 59th respectively, up from 34th and 62nd.

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