I saw some figures in the newspapers today listing the top three most expensive cities.
In no particular order, they were New York, Tokyo and Lagos.
Lagos??? Why would this be? Are they experiencing hyperinflation in Nigeria, or has everyone there become fabulously wealthy due to e-mail scams?
The surveys are compiled by HR consultants, like CRG (Corporate Resources Group) and by the Economist Intelligence Unit and others. They buy a fixed basket of goods and services - eg Colgate, a haircut at a 5 star hotel, a 5 mile taxi ride - in different cities and then convert it all into a ranking in US$ terms.
Lagos, Teheran, Brazzaville and other 3rd world cities rank highly because the surveys cover imported brand names and up-market service providers. A normal Nigerian (and a sensible foreigner living there) would buy a local toothpaste and go to a local hairdresser, etc.
As a frequent visitor, I am certain Tokyo wins the prize. Much more expensive than London or NYC.
I don’t know about now, but a few years back Moscow was on the list because of all the Western investors moving in.
In America, I’d say New York obviously, and I believe Honolulu is pricey. San Jose was, don’t know if it still is after all those fraudalent dot-coms went belly up . .
Tokyo blows away any american city, and that is after 10 years of deflation.
My understanding was London took the worldwide honors, and San Fran took domestic honors. But as Vinnie said, I would doubt San Fran (or san anything) after the dot com blowout.