New Delhi: Indian cities including Delhi and Mumbai have become cheaper for expatriates to live in over the past year, according to the latest survey by Mercer. The main reason is the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar.
New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore have slipped in the rankings of the Mercer Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012, which was released on Tuesday. New Delhi and Mumbai ranked 113 and 114, respectively, dropping 28 and 19 places from last year’s survey.
“The reason why Indian cities are going down in rankings when compared to last year is due to the weakening of the rupee against the dollar by more than 8.5% in one year. We use New York as the base city and all cities are compared against it,” said Muninder Anand, director, information products solutions, at Mercer.
The rupee has recovered some ground after hitting a record low of 56.52 against the dollar on 31 May, the culmination of a series of record lows reached last month. The survey covered 214 cities across five continents and measured the comparative cost of more than 200 items at each location, which includes transport, food, clothing, household goods, entertainment and the cost of housing in base currency.
Tokyo was found to be the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, advancing past the Angolan capital of Luanda.
Osaka was in third position, up three places from last year. Moscow remains in fourth and Geneva in fifth position. Karachi ranked as the least expensive city to live in.
“Recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, have affected the rankings for many regions through currency fluctuations, inflation, and volatility in accommodation prices,” said the report.For Indians, there has been no relief. “The growing strength of the dollar makes it easier for foreigners to purchase more in the country but for Indians it makes no difference since rising inflation rates still continue to hit them as it did earlier,” said O.P. Mathur, professor of urban economics at the National Institute for Urban Affairs.
PTI contributed to this story.