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Tel Aviv is the world's most expensive city to live in, survey finds

A general view shows the beaches in Israel's Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv on May 18, 2021 [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]
A general view shows the beaches in Israel's Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv on May 18, 2021 [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Tel Aviv has been ranked as the most expensive city in the world to live in due to the rapid rise in inflation that has increased the prices of a whole range of goods and services following the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the Israeli capital climbed up from fifth place last year, pushing Paris down to joint second with Singapore.

Meanwhile, the Syrian capital Damascus was ranked the world's cheapest city to live in.

The annual EIU survey said the data is collected in August and September showed that on average, prices had risen 3.5 per cent in local currency terms – the fastest inflation rate recorded over the past five years.

The survey, published today, also found that Tel Aviv was the second most expensive city for alcohol and transport, fifth for personal care items, and sixth for recreation.

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The Worldwide Cost of Living Index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services in 173 cities.

Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at the EIU, said: "Although most economies across the world are now recovering as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, many major cities are still seeing spikes in cases, leading to social restrictions. These have disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices."

"We can clearly see the impact in this year's index, with the rise in petrol prices particularly stark. But not all cities saw price increases. Many of the cities towards the bottom of our rankings saw prices stagnate or even fall, partly because their currencies weakened against the US dollar."

EIU predicts that, over the year ahead, the cost of living will rise further in many cities as wages increase. However, it also expects central banks to cautiously raise interest rates to stem inflation so the price increases should start to moderate from this year's level, Dutt explained.


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