Thu04172014

Last update06:17:15 PM GMT

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Jo’burg cheap destination for expatriates

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New York was used as the base city with an index of 100 points when comparing the cost of 200 items, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Johannesburg scored an index score of 49.6 compared to Tokyo’s 143.7 points nearly three times as costly as the cheapest city.

Nathalie Constantin-Metral, senior researcher at the consulting and investment services company said the survey had noted significant fluctuations in world currencies as direct response to the impact of the economic downturn over the last year.

"Many currencies, including the euro and British pound, have weakened considerably against a strong US dollar, causing ...

New York was used as the base city with an index of 100 points when comparing the cost of 200 items, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Johannesburg scored an index score of 49.6 compared to Tokyo’s 143.7 points nearly three times as costly as the cheapest city.

Nathalie Constantin-Metral, senior researcher at the consulting and investment services company said the survey had noted significant fluctuations in world currencies as direct response to the impact of the economic downturn over the last year.

"Many currencies, including the euro and British pound, have weakened considerably against a strong US dollar, causing a number of European cities to plummet in the rankings," she said in a statement.

London dropped 13 places from last year to be the 16th most expensive city in the world, while Paris slipped one spot to 13th, according to Mercer's annual Cost of Living survey of 143 cities.

Due to the strengthening dollar, all US cities became more expensive. Los Angeles gained 32 places to 23rd and Washington is up 41 places to 66th.

Most European cities became cheaper for expats, with Warsaw experiencing the most dramatic change, plummeting from 35th to 113th place.

Expat life also became cheaper in Australia, New Zealand and India.

Chinese cities gained as the yuan strengthened somewhat against most other currencies, said Mercer. Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou moved up to 12th, 22nd and 23rd respectively.

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