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Delhi, Mumbai becoming dearer

A recent survey compiled by Mercer, a global research firm, finds that cost of living in cities like Delhi and Mumbai is rising fast, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2008 01:08 IST
Vijay Dutt

A recent survey has found that cost of living in cities like Delhi and Mumbai is rising fast.

Mumbai has moved up four places to reach 48 (score 90.3), whereas New Delhi climbed 13 places to 55 (score 87.5) among 143 cities in six continents, compared to last year’s index.

Compiled by Mercer, a global research firm, the survey measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. The Mercer survey said the rising Indian rupee against the US dollar contributed to the rise in cost in living in Mumbai and Delhi.

“Although India has experienced relatively high inflation, it has increased at similar pace to New York and has, therefore, had a reduced impact on its cities’ rise in the rankings,” the report said. The two Indian cities are now costlier compared to some cities in America.

Tokyo is the costliest Asian city, in 2nd place (score 127), two places up since last year. Seoul follows in 5th place (score 117.7) and Hong Kong closely after in 6th with a score of 117.6. Singapore ranks 13th and holds a score of 109.1. Karachi continues to be the least costly city in this region, in 141st place with a score of 54.7.

Yvonne Traber, principal and research manager at Mercer, commented, “Current market conditions have led to the further weakening of the US dollar which, coupled with strengthening of the Euro and many other currencies, has caused significant changes in this year’s rankings.”

The survey made New York as the base city scoring 100 points. Moscow scored 134.4 and was over two-and-a-half times costlier than Asuncion, which has an index of 50. Even so, the gap between the world’s most and least expensive cities appears to be narrowing.

“Although the traditionally expensive cities of Western Europe and Asia still feature in the top 20, cities in Eastern Europe, Brazil and India are going up in the list. Conversely, some locations such as Stockholm and New York now appear less costly by comparison. Multinational companies prioritising expansion have intensified competition for housing and other services, contributing to inflation,” Traber added.