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Paris, Hong Kong and Zurich named world’s most expensive cities

Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris were revealed as this year’s priciest cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s biannual report.

Singapore and Osaka, which were joint first place alongside Hong Kong in 2019, have slipped down to second and third respectively.

Cities in the Americas, Africa and Eastern Europe have become less expensive since last year, while Western European, Asian and Middle Eastern cities have become pricier.

The WCOL index is compiled by comparing the prices of around 138 goods and services, split into 10 categories, in 130 major cities worldwide.

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Tehran, Iran, has seen one of the highest rises in prices, climbing almost 30 places from 106th to 79th, while Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo in Brazil have seen some of the biggest price drops compared to last year’s report.

Reykjavik in notoriously expensive Iceland also saw a sharp decline, falling 27 places on the index compared to last year.

No UK cities appear in the top 10.

One of the key findings of the report is the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on prices worldwide.

With many shops closed during lockdowns, the prices of essential products have stayed resilient, while non-essential goods, such as clothing, saw a steep decline in prices.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to weaken while western European and north Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services,” said Upasana Dutt, head of worldwide cost of living at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

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