Monday, March 9, 2009

Come over to Asia!

SYDNEY, Mar 09, 2009 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- With the falling Australian dollar, the cost of living has plummeted across the country, but the most expensive city in the world is now in Asia, a survey has found.

The Economist magazine's cost of living survey shows Australian cities have become cheaper due to the battered Australian dollar, with Sydney dropping from 17th to 35th on its index of most expensive cities in the past six months.

Since September, Melbourne has fallen 15 places from 24 to 39, Brisbane from 35 to 57, while Adelaide plummeted to 72 after being listed at 48 in the last survey.

Auckland fell almost 30 places, from 49 to 78, while Wellington dropped 25 spots from 55 to 80.

A stronger yen saw Tokyo rise to top of the magazine's list of most expensive cities, knocking off Oslo in Norway, which fell to number five.

Osaka in Japan was listed at number two, Paris third, while Copenhagen in Denmark was fourth.

Apart from taking the top two spots, Asia boasted four of the five cheapest cities - Karachi in Pakistan, Mumbai and New Delhi in India, and Kathmandu in Nepal.

"(Asia) plays host to countries with the most and the least expensive cost of living in the survey," The Economist said in a statement.

"Cities in Australia and New Zealand have seen dramatic falls of between 21 and 25 index points.

"Conversely a stronger yen now means that the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka have become the most expensive cities in our survey.

"Asia is home to many of the least expensive cities in the world, supplying five of the ten cheapest locations in the survey, four of which hail from the Indian subcontinent."

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