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Euro drop hits cost of living for Europeans in USA

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Euro drop hits cost of living for Europeans in USA

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(LONDON) - Europe now accounts for less than a fifth (19 per cent) of the world's most expensive cities, with 11 European cities dropping out of the top 100, according to ECA International's latest Cost of Living report.

According to the report from global mobility experts, ECA International (ECA), the weakened euro has caused many major Eurozone cities to fall behind Central London in the cost of living rankings, including Milan in Italy, Rotterdam and Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Toulouse in France and German cities such as Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt. Although UK cities* remain steady in the global rankings with central London at 106th place, the UK capital has risen to the 23rd most expensive city in Europe; up from 34th last year.

Conversely, 25 US cities now feature in the top 100 most expensive in the world, up from only 10 last year, due to the strengthened dollar. Switzerland also holds strong with four cities in the global top ten; with Zurich (2nd), Geneva (3rd) featuring the highest and sit behind only Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.

ECA International's Cost of Living Survey compares a basket of like-for-like consumer goods and services commonly purchased by international assignees in 482 locations worldwide. The survey allows businesses to ensure that their employees' spending power is maintained when they are sent on international assignments. ECA International has been conducting research into cost of living for over 45 years.

"The euro has suffered a difficult 12 months compared to other major currencies, causing nearly all European cities to drop in the cost of living rankings," said Steven Kilfedder, Production Manager for ECA International: " The only European locations that buck this trend were cities in the UK and some in Eastern European locations that were unaffected by the poor performance of the euro. As the USD gains strength against the euro, most Europeans will find general basket goods more expensive in the USA this year such as a loaf of bread costing around GBP 3.70 in New York City versus GBP 1.18 in London, for example."

Top ten most expensive locations in the world

Location 2019 ranking 2018 ranking
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 1 111
Zurich, Switzerland 2 2
Geneva, Switzerland 3 3
Hong Kong 4 11
Basel, Switzerland 5 4
Bern, Switzerland 6 5
Tokyo, Japan 7 7
Seoul, Korea Republic 8 8
Tel Aviv, Israel 9 14
Shanghai, China 10 10

ECA's blog provides updates and commentary on currency, inflation and expatriate cost of living. Follow the blog here.


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