Coronavirus pandemic has reshuffled rankings of the world's most expensive cities with Paris, Zurich, and Hong Kong replacing Singapore and Osaka as the world's costliest cities to live in. The two Asian (Singapore and Osaka) cities previously joined Hong Kong at the top of the rankings.
This is based on The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Worldwide Cost of Living Index report, which reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the prices of goods and services in over 130 cities as of September 2020.
Zurich and Paris, as per the report, have moved up from fourth to the first position because of the strengthening of the Swiss Franc and the Euro. New York City is used as the base city in the index.
The top 10 costliest cities in the EIU's listing are:-
3. Hong Kong
5. Tel Aviv
8. New York
10. Los Angeles
The coronavirus pandemic has led to the weakening of the US dollar while the north Asian and western European currencies have bolstered against the greenback.
This in turn has caused a shift in the prices of goods and services. Asian cities have usually dominated the rankings in the last few years, but the COVID-19 crisis has reshuffled the rankings this time.
Singapore, which is on third spot, saw a fall in prices due to an exodus of foreign workers, according to the report. "With the city state's overall population contracting for the first time since 2003, demand has declined and deflation has set in. Osaka has seen similar trends, with consumer prices stagnating and the Japanese government subsidising costs such as public transport," the report noted.
Osaka (Japan) and Tel Aviv (Israel) share the fifth position on the ranking index.
Although prices for most goods and services were "fairly flat" over the past year, some categories were impacted by the coronavirus crisis, the EIU said in its report, adding the cost of essential products, for instance, food and water stayed "resilient," but clothing prices plummeted due to low demand.
"Supply-chain problems have also had differing impacts on different goods, pushing up the price of high-demand products such as computers in some cities," the report noted.