Monday, July 11, 2011

Aussie Cities Among The Priciest In The World

According to a global survey, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane have gained the newest reputation of being among the most expensive cities in the world because of its strong Aussie dollar.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey found that it is now cheaper living in London, Hong Kong, Vienna, Rome, Berlin, and Beijing compared to most Australian cities.

From ranking 32nd in the last two years, Sydney is now the 6th priciest city in the world. Melbourne, on the other hand, moved from 38th place to 7th this year.

Ranking 13th and 14th, respectively, are Perth and Brisbane. This data show that the two cities are almost 25 per cent more expensive than New York.

The strengthening value of the Aussie dollar is partly the culprit of the skyrocketing costs of living of Australia, according to Jon Copestake who authored the survey.

In November 2010, the Australian dollar reached parity with the US dollar. And on May 3, it even hit a peak 110.11 US cents which was the highest since 1983. Today, the Aussie dollar is closing in at 107 US cents.

“Rising domestic prices, partly due to rising oil and commodity prices, have been compounded by the strength of the Australian dollar, which achieved parity with the US dollar earlier this year, compared to being worth around half that much 10 years ago,” said Copestake.

The survey further revealed that Australian cities are also among the most expensive cities for business trips.

Accommodation, meals, taxis, drinks, and a newspaper in Melbourne would cost one around US$760 a day. While in Sydney, it costs around US$627.

“Australia has long been an attractive destination, with Melbourne and Sydney becoming international cities in their own right. Whether the spiralling relative cost of living will dampen this appeal remains to be seen,” he added.

The cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Oslo were named the three most expensive cities in the world by the survey. On the other hand, Mumbai, Tunis, and Karachi are the cheapest among the countries that were surveyed. There was a total of 140 countries included in the survey.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is UK-based and provides economic and business research, as well as forecasting and analysis.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald »

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