Bangkok has become a cheaper city for expatriates to live on a dollar benchmark basis, in the past year according to Mercer LLC’s list of the world’s most-expensive cities.
Thailand’s capital fell from 66 to 88 on the 2014 survey of 211 cities worldwide, which measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Rankings are based on fluctuations of currencies against the US dollar and the impact of inflation on goods and services using New York as a baseline.
Four of the top 10 cities in this year’s ranking are in Asia.
The most expensive city, Hong Kong (3), jumped three places from last year. Singapore (4) is the next most expensive city in the region, gaining one position from last year, followed by Tokyo, which ranked 7 dropping four places this year. Jumping four spots since last year, Shanghai (10) is the next Asian city on the list, followed by Beijing (11), Seoul (14), and Shenzhen (17).
“Japanese cities have dropped in the ranking this year as a result of the yen’s weakening against the US dollar,” said Ms. Constantin-Métral. “However, Chinese cities jumped in the ranking, including Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, due to the strengthening of the Chinese yuan.”
Australian cities have witnessed some of the most dramatic falls in the ranking this year as the local currency has depreciated against the US dollar. Sydney (26), Australia’s most expensive ranked city for expatriates, and Melbourne (33) dropped seventeen places while Perth (37) fell nineteen spots.
Mumbai (140) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (157) and Chennai (185). Bangalore (196) and Kolkata (205) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked. Elsewhere in Asia, Bangkok (88) dropped twenty-two places from last year.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ranks 115, followed by Indonesia’s Jakarta which ranked 119, falling forty-eight places from 2013. Hanoi jumped three spots to rank 131. Karachi, Pakistan (211) remains the region’s least expensive city for expatriates.
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