Brussels enters the top 25 in cost-of-living league

11th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2004, BRUSSELS – Brussels has climbed five places in a year to enter the top 25 in a worldwide cost-of-living ranking.

11 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Brussels has climbed five places in a year to enter the top 25 in a worldwide cost-of-living ranking.

The city moved from 29th to 24th place in the Economist Intelligence Unit's bi-annual Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, published on Tuesday.

However, the table confirms that life in the European capital is still far cheaper than many other cities. Brussels is still behind Dublin (ranked 23rd), Lyon (22nd), Manchester (20th) and way behind neighbouring capitals like Amsterdam (13th) and Paris, which has leapt to third place.

European cities have shot up the table due to the weakness of the US dollar and the relative strength of European currencies like the euro: the continent has 20 out of the top 25 slots.

Paris moved from seventh to third place, making it the most expensive city in Europe and putting it within 10 percent of Tokyo, which remains the world's costliest destination.

Sharing joint third position with Paris is Oslo, which is outside the eurozone, as are Copenhagen, Zurich and London, which take up fifth and joint-sixth positions respectively.

London rose from tenth position due to the strong performance of the pound against the dollar.

Vienna, at tenth in the latest figures, is the only eurozone city apart from Paris in the top ten.

Portugal remains the cheapest eurozone country, with Lisbon (54th) being the only "old EU" city (ie excluding those in the ten new member-states) outside the top 50.

Athens, home to the upcoming Olympic Games, also offers good value as the second-cheapest eurozone destination.

Worldwide, Osaka Kobe stayed in second position. The world's cheapest city was the Iranian capital, Tehran.

US cities have seen relative costs fall dramatically in line with the weakening dollar, with New York dropping 14 places to 27th over the past 12 months, making it relatively cheaper than Australian cities like Sydney (14th) and Melbourne (18th).

The survey compares prices and products in over 130 cities around the world with the aim of providing companies with a guide from which allowances can be calculated for expat compensation packages.

The data used New York as a base index of 100 for comparisons. This gave Brussels an index of 104, Tokyo an index of 143, Paris 130, London 125, Amsterdam 111, Munich 110, Frankfurt 107, Berlin 106, Lyon 105, Hamburg 100, and Madrid and Barcelona an index of 96.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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