The world’s 10 most expensive cities to live, eat a Big Mac and buy an iPhone – Bottom Line
UBS Wealth Management’s annual survey of 72 cities examined the price of a basket of 122 goods and services, adjusted for currency fluctuations. The cost of living index was calculated by dividing the price of goods by the weighted net hourly wage in 15 sectors.
UBS has been conducting this study since 1970. Some figures are updated yearly, and the entire survey is recalculated every three years. The study was last updated in 2009.
Over a monthlong period, researchers in each respective local market collected more than 50,000 price and earnings data points, creating standardized baskets of goods for comparison purposes. Prices and earnings very converted into a common currency, using exchange rate averages over the monthlong period during which the data was collected.
Researchers noted that currency fluctuations are one main reason why figures can change sharply between one survey and the next. “When comparing data over an extended period, exchange rate trends play an especially crucial role,” they wrote.
Policymakers’ responses to the financial crisis were also reflected in the ranking. “The appreciation of numerous currencies against the major currencies since 2009 has been additionally boosted by the expansive monetary policy in the euro and dollar zones,” the report said.