Jul 24, 2008

World - Spiralling cost of living in metros

NEW DELHI: Renting a twobedroom luxury flat in Mumbai is more expensive than that of Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or even Seoul.The cost of petrol is higher than that of Tokyo. And the price of 1 kg long grain white rice in a medium priced establishment is more than that of Singapore or Beijing.Mumbai is catching up with the biggest metros of the world in more ways than one. The cost of living in the city has risen considerably since last year.

But Mumbaikars are not the only ones coping with high prices. With inflation in India shooting above 11% this month, people in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore too are equally feeling the pinch of price rise.The annual Cost of Living Survey done by Mercer, a global consulting firm, in 143 cities around the world reveals all the four Indian metros have moved up the ranking.
Mumbai ranked 48 this year — up four places since last year — still remains the most expensive city in India. New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai are also moving faster up the ladder.Ranked 55, the capital moved up 13 places since last year, while both Chennai at 117 and Bangalore at 118 moved up 16 places since last year.Experts says, high inflation and a strengthening rupee are some of the important factors that have contributed to the changes in the ranking of Indian cities.
"Overall, the Indian cities are moving up as the aspirational demand and resulting cost of consumer goods increases, says Gangapriya Chakraverti, Business Leader for Information Product Solutions , Mercer.Although the traditionally expensive cities of western Europe and Asia still feature in the top 20, cities in Eastern Europe, Brazil and India are inching up the list.In fact, cities like Stockholm and New York now appear less costly by comparison," adds Chakraverti.
Incidentally, New York, which also happens to be the base city against whom the global cities were compared, too, has moved up a few ranks from 15 to 22 this year.Moscow continues to be the most expensive city, followed by Tokyo which moved up two places since last year. London emerged third most costly city down one place since last year and Oslo stood 4th up from 10th position in 2007.Incidentally , Asuncisn in Paraguay is the least expensive city in the ranking for the sixth consecutive year

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