List of world’s most expensive cities altered by war in Ukraine


The list of the most expensive cities to live in, produced by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit as part of its Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, has seen drastic changes this year, particularly as a result of the war’s ripple effects. In Ukraine.

Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia’s most populous cities, saw the sharpest jumps among other cities. Moscow rose from 72nd last year to 37th in 2022. On the other hand, many Western European cities became cheaper as currencies and economies weakened, even as gas and electricity prices rose as a result of the war. Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was not on this year’s list.

Usual suspects New York and Singapore took the top spot, driven by high earnings and a strong US dollar. Tel Aviv, which topped the list last year, dropped to third, followed by Los Angeles and Hong Kong in fourth place.

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The 2022 edition compares the cost of living in 172 cities and analyzes the prices of more than 200 goods and services, including rent, utility bills, household goods and food. The survey recorded an 8.1 percent increase in global inflation last year: the highest recorded since the EIU began tracking nearly two decades ago.

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Economists attribute the global cost-of-living crisis in part to the war in Ukraine, along with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in China, other pandemic effects, supply chain problems, climate change and the compounding effect of inflation itself.

Upasana Dutt, who led the cost of living survey this year and last year, said the war in Ukraine was one of two key factors, along with the pandemic.

“What we’re seeing is a disruption in the supply chain, and that’s only because of the war,” he said. “If there was no war, these kinds of developments would not have been seen. It will be much more limited.”

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With the easing of pandemic restrictions, rising demand for goods has been met with persistent blockages in the supply chain, leading to high inflation, Dutt said. Western sanctions against Russia “intensified the impact on the supply of goods everywhere”.

The report documents the impact in other European cities, where efforts to reduce dependence on Russian energy have led to a 29 percent increase in gas and electricity prices in some areas, compared to a global average increase of 11 percent.

According to the EIU, utility bills worldwide rose by an average of 11 percent, and car prices rose by an average of 9.5 percent in local currency. The sharpest price increase mentioned in this report is related to one liter of oil, which has increased by an average of 22%.

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European cities of Luxembourg, Stockholm, Brussels, Lyon, France; and Manchester, England; It accounts for five of the 10 cities that saw the biggest declines in this year’s rankings – the result of weakened economies from the energy crisis.

In the United States, 22 cities moved up in the rankings due to rapidly rising prices. Cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, San Diego and Boston all saw increases in cost of living rankings – among the top 10 largest cities recorded globally.

While Istanbul, Buenos Aires and Tehran experienced high inflation, the highest inflation rate was recorded in Caracas, Venezuela, where the cost of living increased by 132% last year.

The report predicts some relief in 2023 if commodity prices “decline sharply” as long as the war in Ukraine does not escalate.


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