Tel Aviv Is Costlier Than New York, Economist Ranking Finds

Worldwide Cost of Living Survey puts Israel’s commercial center at fifth place in global ranking. Last year, Tel Aviv ranked seventh

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Tel Aviv, September 27, 2020.
Tel Aviv, September 27, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Living in Tel Aviv is more expensive than living in New York City, making it the fifth-most expensive city in the world, according to the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey released on Wednesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company of The Economist magazine.

Tel Aviv scored 101 points for cost of living, one more than New York, and tied with Japan’s Osaka for fifth place on the survey’s list. Last year, Tel Aviv ranked seventh.

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The top four in this year’s ranking were Paris, Hong Kong, Zurich and Singapore, with scores of 102-103. New York was No. 7 at 100 points, tied with Geneva and followed by Los Angeles.

The survey this year took into account the prices of 138 goods and services as of September in about 130 major cities. It said prices in those cities rose 0.3% in the past year, although not everywhere. The EIU said cities in the Americas, Africa and Eastern Europe become less expensive since last year, while Western European cities become costlier, in part due to a rise in European currencies against the U.S. dollar.

People look toward the skyline of downtown Manhattan from Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., August 14, 2020. Credit: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

The report attributed changes in prices to supply chain problems, the impact of taxes and subsidies, shifts in consumer preferences and currency volatility, much of it due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Amid the pandemic, price-conscious consumers have also opted for cheaper products in many countries, increasing price competition for less-expensive goods. Low demand has had a particular impact on clothing prices, for example,” the report said. “On the other hand, high-earning consumers have been comparatively unaffected by the pandemic. While they are likely to shop less, prices of premium products have remained resilient.”

The report charted the price of bread in the nine most expensive cities over the last decade. It found that in Tel Aviv, the price of a one-kilo loaf had risen from $3.36 in 2010 to $5.63 this year, although that partially reflected the near 7% increase in the value of the shekel to the dollar.

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