Mercer Human Resource Consulting survey finds Moscow is most expensive place for expatriates to live

Moscow is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates for the second consecutive year, according to annual research.

A study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting revealed that London is in second position, climbing three places since last year.

Seoul moves down one place in the ranking to take third place, followed by Tokyo in fourth.

Asuncion in Paraguay is the least expensive city for the fifth year running.

Mercer’s survey of more than 140 countries measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

The survey is used to help multinational companies and governments to determine compensation allowances for expatriate employees.
New York remains the most expensive city in North America but drops five places to position 15 overall, scoring 100 points. In contrast, Moscow scores 134.4, and is more than two-and-a-half times costlier than Asuncion, which has an index of 50.

Rebecca Powers, a principal consultant at Mercer, said: “There have been some significant changes in the rankings since last year. These are primarily due to exchange rate fluctuations – in particular, the weakening of the US Dollar and strengthening of the Euro.”

She added: “As companies continue to send employees on expatriate assignments, they must closely monitor changes in cost of living to ensure their expatriate compensation packages are fair and competitive.”

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