New Delhi: The national capital has become the most expensive city in the country for expatriates, even as depreciation of rupee against the US dollar has made Indian metropolises compared to other world cities cheaper for foreign assignees to reside in, a Mercer survey says.
According to the global HR consultancy Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey 2009, New Delhi is the most expensive location for expatriates to reside in, ahead of Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.
However, all Indian cities have witnessed a decline in their rankings in terms of cost of living this year with New Delhi falling to the 65th position from 55th place in last year’s survey, in the global list of 143 cities.
Mumbai, which had been the most expensive city for expats in India, has fallen to the 66th position from 48th in the 2008 survey.
Further, Bangalore has dropped to 133 position from the 118 rank in last year’s survey, while Chennai is the cheapest Indian city at 135 rank falling from 117 position last year.
“The decline in the ranking of all Indian cities is due to the devaluation of the rupee against most major world currencies... the rupee’s loss of value may serve to attract globally mobile executives to business centres such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore,” Mercer information product solutions’ India head of global mobility Rupam Mishra said.
“The difference in cost of living can be significant, particularly for those executives with families,” Mishra added.
Globally, Tokyo moved ahead of Moscow as the most expensive city for expatriates in the world and is followed by another Japanese city Osaka at the second place.
Moscow comes at the third place in the global ranking and is followed by Switzerland’s Geneva (4th), Hong Kong (5th), Zurich (6th), Denmark’s Copenhagen (7th), New York city (8th place), China’s Beijing (9th) and Singapore (10th).
Mercer’s survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
It is a comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine cost of living allowances for their expatriate employees.
Overall, a significant reshuffle of cities can be observed in this year’s ranking, mainly due to considerable currency fluctuations worldwide, the survey said.
The majority of European cities moved down in the ranking with Warsaw experiencing the most dramatic change, plummeting 78 places from 35th to 113th. London and Oslo, both previously at the top 10, dropped 13 and 10 places, respectively.