The skyline of Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Tel Aviv is tied with Los Angeles for being the world’s 10th most expensive city, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey published on Tuesday.
Israel’s commercial hub – home to approximately 430,000 residents – was ranked 28th just five years ago, based on a comparison of prices across 160 products and services.
The rise in the cost of living is partly due to currency appreciation, the report states, but is also due to some specific costs that significantly drive up prices – particularly buying, insuring and maintaining a car, which “push transport costs 64% above New York prices.”
During the last 10 years, the average price of a 1kg. loaf of bread in Tel Aviv has risen from $4.16 to $5.09. While the average price of a 330ml beer bottle has increased during the same period from $2.62 to $2.94, the price has decreased from last year by 25 cents.
The past decade has also seen the average price of a men’s two-piece business suit rise from $1,124.33 to $1,940.58, and a women’s haircut rise from $83.57 to $93.59.
Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong shared the undesirable title of being the world’s most expensive cities this year, with the top ten dominated by Asian and European cities. Tel Aviv is the Middle East’s only representative on the list.
At the other end of the spectrum, Caracas, Damascus and Uzbekistan’s Tashkent are the three cheapest cities in the world.
Caracas’s status as the least expensive city worldwide – taking the title from Damascus – follows nearly one million percent inflation last year and the establishment of a new currency in an attempt to halt hyperinflation.
The major cause behind changes in the rankings this year is currency fluctuation, with “significant currency movements” witnessed in a number of markets, impacting domestic prices.
The strengthening of the US dollar saw New York move up six places and Los Angeles move up four places in this year’s ranking. Cities in Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela, however, all suffered economic turmoil and fell sharply.
Istanbul fell by 48 places to share 120th place after experiencing the sharpest decline in the cost of living worldwide, due to the Turkish lira weakening sharply against the dollar and a surge in consumer price inflation.
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