|NEW YORK - Moscow is the world's most expensive city for the second year in a row, thanks to an appreciating ruble and rising housing costs, a new survey reports.
The cost of living for expatriates in the Russian capital is nearly 35 percent higher than in New York, which served as the base city for the survey released Monday.
London, estimated at 26 percent more expensive than New York, climbed three spots to second place on a strengthening British pound and steep rental prices. Seoul ranked third, followed closely by Tokyo at No. 4.
The survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting ranked 143 cities around the world, measuring the comparative cost of more than 200 areas such as housing, transportation and food. The findings are designed to help multinational employers determine compensation for their expatriate workers.
In Moscow, a luxury two-bedroom apartment will cost an expat $4,000 a month; a CD rings up at $24.83; one copy of an international daily newspaper is $6.30; and a fast-food hamburger meal totals $4.80.
A strengthening euro boosted 30 European cities to top spots on the 2007 list — Copenhagen, Geneva, Zurich and Oslo, respectively, placed among the top 10.
Eight Asian cities made the top 50, though Taipei, Taiwan, plunged 20 places to No. 48.
New York and Los Angeles were the only two North American cities to rank among the highest 50, though both fell in the rankings due to a depreciating U.S. dollar, Mercer reported.
The Big Apple dropped five places to No. 15, while Los Angeles fell to No. 42 from No. 29 in 2006.
Ranking as the least expensive city for the fifth year in a row was Paraguay's capital of Asuncion, where the cost of living is half that of New York, Mercer estimated.