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World’s Most Expensive Cities During Pandemic
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World’s Most Expensive Cities During Pandemic

According to a new study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the list of world’s most expensive cities is has been updated. The Western European is more expensive during the global pandemic, while in the Americas, Africa, and Eastern Europe the cost of living has dropped.

Paris and Zurich are now, along with Hong Kong at the top of the list of global cities with the highest cost of living, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living study released today. The survey measures the cost of 138 items in about 130 cities to determine its list. Both Paris and Zurich are hopping over Singapore and Osaka to reach the number one slot with Hong Kong, which previously held the title on its own.

The impact of Covid-19

In a challenging year, the global pandemic has impacted countries in varying ways, which is reflected in the results. After the three top placeholders Singapore is the fourth. Tel Aviv and Osaka are in fifth and Geneva and New York City are in seventh. The last but not the least, Copenhagen and Los Angeles are in ninth.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the U.S. dollar to weaken while Western European and North Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services,” Upasana Dutt, the head of Worldwide Cost of Living at the Economic Intelligence Unit, said in a statement. “The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior, as lockdowns and trends such as working from home have increased the prices of consumer electronics and meal-at-home kits have taken the place of restaurant dining for middle-class families.”

The report also cites supply chain issues, with shortages of toilet paper and pasta leading to price increases. The highest price increase was in the category of recreation, which includes electronics — likely due to the large number of people working from home. The homebound lifestyle has also led to a steep price decline in the category of clothing.

“With the global economy unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, spending will remain restricted and prices under downward pressure,” Dutt said, noting that most people will likely continue to focus their spending on “staples, home entertainment, and faster internet access” in the coming year. “Although much will depend on the course of the pandemic, we expect many of the above price trends to continue into 2021.”

Photo credit: Thought Catalog

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