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Ooh la la: Paris tops list of most expensive global cities

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Alongside Singapore and Hong Kong, Paris is now the most expensive city in the world, outpacing its European peers on everything from haircuts to housing.

The latest ranking of global cities from the Economist Intelligence Unit showed the average cost of a woman’s haircut in Paris is a startling $119.04 (£90). That compares to just compared with $73.97 in Zurich and $60.13 in Seoul.

The report showed that Singapore is the most consistently expensive, the only city in the top ten that has maintained its ranking from the previous year. Osaka in Japan and Seoul in South Korea are in the top ten for the first time this year.

In Europe, the major Swiss cities of Geneva and Zurich score highest, alongside Copenhagen in Denmark. London didn’t make the top ranks. Western European cities now account for three of the five most expensive cities and for four of the top ten. Asia accounts for a further four cities, while Tel Aviv is the sole Middle Eastern representative.

Currency fluctuations

Currency played a role in pushing up the price of US cities. New York and Los Angeles came in at 7th and 10th place respectively as Dollar strength pushed up the cost of living relative to global peers. New York has moved up six places in the ranking this year, while Los Angeles has moved up four spots.

Caracas in Venezuela has seen the opposite effect. It claims the title of the least expensive city in the world. Following inflation nearing 1,000,000% last year and the Venezuelan government launching a new currency, the situation continues to change almost daily.

The EIU said the year ahead will bring challenges for some cities: “Equally, 2019 could see the fallout from a number of political and economic shocks having a deeper effect. The UK has already seen sharp declines in the relative cost of living owing to the Brexit referendum and related currency weaknesses. In 2019 these are expected to translate into further price rises as supply chains become more complicated and import costs rise. These inflationary effects could be compounded if sterling were to stage a recovery.”


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