Cost of living in the eurozone soars

The cost of living in the eurozone has soared in comparison with the rest of the world, according to a new portrait of living costs around the globe.

The survey, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sampled the prices of goods and services, ranging from a carton of milk to the cost of hiring a babysitter.

While Tokyo remains the world’s most expensive city, followed by Osaka, the strengthening of the euro against the dollar has increased the cost of living in many European cities.

There is a striking variation in prices. A litre of milk costing the equivalent of £0,22 in New Delhi costs £0,84 in Rome.

The rent of a two-bedroom flat varies dramatically even between cities in the developed world. In London the average is given as just more than £1 000 a month while in Tokyo a flat in an equivalent area is nearly three times more expensive.

William Ridgers, editor of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, said: “There are intrinsic reasons why a city can be expensive.
If you take London, you’re looking at somewhere where the cost of rent and shop space is high, salaries are relatively high, transport is expensive. All of these things go to make somewhere like London, Tokyo or Oslo expensive. But the way that it moves is determined by things like inflation or exchange rate.’‘

Several cities in the eurozone have become more expensive to live in. Dublin climbed 34 places to become the world’s 24th most expensive city and Frankfurt rose 33 places to 22nd. The cheapest city in the European Union is Lisbon, ranked 68th in the world.

For the first time in recent years London is no longer the EU’s most expensive city. At 10th place it has been overtaken by both Paris and Copenhagen, the latter outside the eurozone but having a currency pegged to the euro.

Oslo and Zurich, which are outside the EU, remain the most expensive cities in Europe — respectively the world’s third and fourth dearest. — Â

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