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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Still the Costliest City for Expats, Study Says

LONDON -- Moscow remains the world's most expensive city for expatriates with London close behind after rising three places due to the weakness of the dollar, said an annual cost-of-living survey to be published Monday.

Currency movements were the main factor driving multiple changes of position in the worldwide survey by leading human resources consultancy Mercer, which ranks 143 cities against each other with New York as the benchmark.

"There have been some significant changes in the rankings since last year," said Mercer consultant Rebecca Powers. "These are primarily due to exchange rate fluctuations -- in particular the weakening of the U.S. dollar and strengthening of the euro."

Seoul was the No. 3 city, followed by Tokyo and Hong Kong, all down one from 2006. Copenhagen was up two in sixth place, Geneva unchanged in seventh, Osaka down two in eighth and Zurich and Oslo unchanged in ninth and 10 places, respectively.

The survey measures the comparative costs of more than 200 items including rent, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

For example, the most expensive fast-food hamburger in a leading city is to be found in Copenhagen while the cheapest is in Beijing.

Moscow serves the most expensive cup of coffee, with the cheapest being found in Buenos Aires.

Monthly rental of a luxury two-bedroom unfurnished apartment is most expensive in Tokyo and cheapest in Johannesburg, where it costs less than one-quarter of the Tokyo price.

The annual survey normally covers 144 cities, but this year Harare has been dropped because hyperinflation there has made international cost comparisons meaningless, Mercer said.