Strong euro pushes up Amsterdam cost of living
14 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch capital Amsterdam has risen 26 places in the list of the world’s most expensive cities in the space of 12 months, research agency Mercer Human Resource Consulting claims.
The bureau said Amsterdam was placed 52nd out of 144 cities last year, but is now the world’s 26th most expensive city. It partly attributed Amsterdam’s strong climb in the rankings due to the strength of the euro.
The Mercer Worldwide cost of living survey 2004 also indicated that other European cities had become more expensive due to the euro. But Amsterdam showed the highest increase in terms of expenses.
Clothing and groceries particularly increased in price in the past 12 months. A pair of jeans, for example, has risen in price by 20 percent, but the costs of housing in Amsterdam remained stable.
Fourteen European cities are listed in the 26 most expensive cities. London is the most expensive European city and rose from seventh to the world’s second most expensive. Zurich, Copenhagen and Geneva are also listed in the top 10.
“There have been some dramatic movements in the rankings this year which are largely due to currency fluctuations, particularly of the US dollar and the euro,” Mercer senior researcher Marie-Laurence Sepede.
The world’s most expensive city is still the Japanese capital Tokyo, where the cost of living is three times as expensive as the world’s cheapest city, Asuncion in Paraguay.
Three of the five cheapest cities are in the new European Union member states — Limassol (Cyprus), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Ljubljana (Slovenia).
But the researchers believe that these cities will rise up the rankings in coming years due to investment and an improved standard of living.
All US cities fell in the rankings, due primarily to the weakened dollar. Australian and New Zealand cities rose steeply in rankings due to currency appreciation against the US dollar.
The Mercer survey covers 144 cities and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location. These include housing, food, clothing and household goods as well as transportation and entertainment.
The data is used to help multinational companies to determine compensation allowances for their expatriate workers.
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news