Reference: Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012
According to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, London sits among the twenty most expensive cities in the world. Manchester, the other UK city in the report, lies in 53rd place in the ranking of over 130 cities. Even though inflation levels passed 5% last year, a weaker pound meant London actually fell slightly in the ranking from 15th to 17th place. Despite this, consumers and retailers alike have been trying to come to terms with rising prices in some areas and cuts in household spending in others that have hit the high street hard.
The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, which looks at over 400 individual prices on a city-to-city basis, has tracked the changes in price for a handful of goods over the last ten years to see how price movement has affected UK consumers. While the prices of staple goods have persistently risen, non-essential goods have been more sensitive to the economic climate.
For example, the price of a loaf of bread has more than doubled in London in ten years, with the cost of a bottle of wine rising by 50%. Taxes have also played a part, with petrol pump prices up by over 75% and cigarette prices by almost 60%.
Outside the UK the survey has seen Zurich and Geneva surge up the cost of living ranking. Currency flight from the Eurozone into Swiss Francs has seen Zurich overtake Tokyo to become the world’s most expensive city for the first time in at least 20 years. The financial centre is now almost 50% more expensive than London, prompting the Swiss authorities to peg the currency to the Euro in September last year.
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Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.