As the cost-of-living crisis bites, New York and Singapore are named the most expensive cities on the planet in 2022. Olivia Palamountain reports

New York tops the rankings of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living index for the first time this year, tying with frequent leader Singapore, which is back in pole position for the eighth time in ten years.

Together, the two bumped last year’s leader, Tel Aviv, down into third place. Damascus (Syria) and Tripoli (Libya) remain the cheapest cities.

New York’s acceleration through the index is, in part, attributed to the impact of the strong US dollar on city rankings as interest rates rise and investors opt for safety.

Compounding this hypothesis, all 22 of the US cities in the index rose up the rankings, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, which join New York in the list of the ten most expensive cities worldwide.

Six further US destinations (Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, San Diego, Portland and Boston) are among the ten cities showing the biggest jumps up the rankings.

The biggest upward movers were the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, which shot up by 88 and 70 places, respectively, as prices have soared amid Western sanctions and buoyant energy markets supported the rouble.

Most other European cities fell down the rankings, as the energy crisis and weakening economies pushed down the value of the euro and other local currencies, with Stockholm, Luxembourg and Lyon the biggest fallers in the rankings.

Upasana Dutt, Head of Worldwide Cost of Living at EIU, said: “The war in Ukraine, Western sanctions on Russia and China’s zero-covid policies have caused supply-chain problems that, combined with rising interest rates and exchange-rate shifts, have resulted in a cost-of-living crisis across the world.

We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the average price rise across the 172 cities in our survey being the strongest we’ve seen in the 20 years for which we have digital data. The rise in petrol prices in cities was particularly strong (as it was last year), but food, utilities and household goods are all getting more expensive for city-dwellers.

“We expect prices to start easing over the coming year as supply bottle-necks start to ease and slowing economies weigh on consumer demand.”

The most expensive cities in 2022…

1 = New York

1 = Singapore

3 = Tel Aviv

4 = Hong Kong

4 = Los Angeles

6 = Zurich

7 = Geneva

8 = San Francisco

9 = Paris

10 = Sydney

10 = Copenhagen

The least expensive cities in 2022…

161 = Colombo

161 = Bangalore

161 = Algiers

164 = Chennai

165 = Ahmedabad

166 = Almaty

167 = Karachi

168 = Tashkent

169 = Tunis

170 = Tehran

171 = Tripoli

172 = Damascus

Source: EIU’s World Cost of Living index