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TWICE a year Mercer sends a whole load of lucky people to the shops to find out how much things cost. 200 things to be precise, from a loaf of bread to a glass of moon juice. They also throw in the cost of accommodation and then benchmark 143 cities against the cost of those same things in New York which is given the base value of 100 in the index. 
According to the findings of those happy shoppers, Tokyo has overtaken Moscow as the most expensive city on earth for expatriates with a ranking of 143 (that’s a coincidence!), meaning it’s 43% more expensive for an expatriate to live in Tokyo than in New York. 
This last year has seen worldwide falls in petrol and food prices for obvious reasons. Inflation, currency changes against the dollar and regional accommodation costs have seen a number of cities move up or down the rankings by a significant margin.
Beijing for example has risen from 20th to 9th primarily due to currency strength whereas London has fallen 13 places to 16th and Warsaw has dropped like a stone by 78 places, both for the opposite reason. Johannesburg has replaced Asunción in Paraguay as the least expensive city in the ranking.  
Tokyo (1st)
Osaka (2nd)
Moscow (3rd)
Geneva (4th)
Hong Kong (5th)
Asia Pacific
Tokyo Japan 1st
Osaka Japan 2nd
Hong Kong 5th
Beijing China 9th
Singapore 10th
Guangzhou 23rd
Moscow Russia 3rd
Geneva Switzerland 4th
Zurich Switzerland 6th
Copenhagen Denmark 7th
Milan Italy 11th
Berlin Germany 49th
New York 8th
Caracas Venezuela 15th
Los Angeles 23rd
White Plains US 31st
San Fransisco 34th
Chicago 50th
Middle East & Africa
Tel Aviv Israel 17th
Dubai UAE 20th
Abu Dhabi UAE 26th
Douala Cameroon 27th
Lagos Nigeria 32nd

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