Dublin has bucked a trend of declining living costs in Western Europe as it jumped two places up the rankings on Mercer’s annual Cost of Living Survey, despite the weakening Euro against the US dollar.
Dublin moved from 51 to 49th place in this year’s report, which took into account 207 global cities.
The trend for this year’s survey showed that many western European cities, outside of the UK, dropped in the rankings.
Three European cities exist in the list of top ten most expensive cities for expatriates. Zurich (3), the most costly European city, is followed by Geneva (5) and Bern (9). S
Switzerland remains one of the most expensive locations for expatriates due to the surge of the Swiss franc against the EUR.
Aside from cities in the United Kingdom, Western European cities dropped in the rankings mainly due to the weakening of local currencies against the US dollar. While London (12) remained steady, Aberdeen (82) and Birmingham (80) rose in the ranking. Paris (46), Vienna (56), and Rome (59) fell in the ranking by 19, 24, and 28 spots, respectively. The German cities of Munich (87), Frankfurt (98), and Berlin (106) dropped significantly as did Dusseldorf (114) and Hamburg (124).
“Despite moderate price increases in most of the European cities, European currencies have weakened against the US dollar which pushed most Western European cities down in the ranking,” explained Ms. Constantin-Métral.
“Additionally, other factors like the Eurozone’s economy, falling interest rates, and increasing unemployment have impacted these cities.”
As a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar, most cities in Eastern and Central Europe fell in the ranking, as well. Prague (142), Budapest (170), and Minsk (200) dropped 50, 35, and 9 spots, respectively, despite stable accommodations in these locations.
In looking again at the movement of the CHF against USD, the USD actually strengthened against the CHF, and not the opposite. Moscow (50) and St. Petersburg (152) dropped 41 and 117 spots, respectively, as a result of Russia’s ruble losing significant value against the US dollar, lower oil prices, and a lack of confidence in the currency following Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.