Damascus is the cheapest

Tel Aviv ranked world’s most expensive city, overtaking Paris

White City climbs five rungs to top spot, for first time, in Economist ranking — due to strength of shekel, increased cost of transportation and groceries

An aerial view of the Ayalon highway running between Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, October 17, 2018. (Matanya Tausig/FLASH90)
An aerial view of the Ayalon highway running between Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, October 17, 2018. (Matanya Tausig/FLASH90)

Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city to live in as soaring inflation has pushed up living costs globally, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The city climbed five rungs to score top place for the first time in the authoritative ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of the venerable periodical The Economist.

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

Tel Aviv climbed the rankings partly due to the strength of the shekel against the dollar, as well as increases in prices for transportation and groceries.

Paris and Singapore came in joint second, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong. New York was in sixth place, with Geneva in seventh.

Rounding off the top 10 in order were Copenhagen, Los Angeles, and Osaka, Japan.

Customers at restaurants in Tel Aviv on March 7, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Last year, the survey put Paris, Zurich and Hong Kong in joint first place.

This year’s data was collected in August and September as the costs of freight and commodities rose and shows that on average prices went up 3.5 percent in local currency terms — the fastest inflation rate recorded over the past five years.

Social restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic “have disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices,” said Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the rise in petrol prices particularly stark,” she said, while central banks are expected to raise interest rates cautiously, reducing inflation.

The average inflation figure does not include four cities with exceptionally high rates: Caracas, Damascus, Buenos Aires and Tehran.

The Iranian capital rose from 79th to 29th place in the ranking as US sanctions have pushed up prices and caused shortages.

Damascus was ranked the world’s cheapest city to live in.

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