These Are the Most Expensive Cities in the World Right Now

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic landscape worldwide.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, socialize, travel, and communicate. Our existence now looks a whole lot different than it once did, with masks and social distancing suddenly a part of our everyday routine. The virus—and its unavoidable social and economic consequences—has also transformed the cost of living across the globe

According to a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which analyzed 138 financial factors across 130 cities cities, Western European cities have become increasingly expensive as a result of the pandemic while cost of living in North America, Africa, and Eastern Europe has shot down. Paris and Zurich surpassed former list toppers Singapore and Osaka to land in the top three alongside Hong Kong as the most expensive cities worldwide.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the US dollar to weaken while Western European and North Asian currencies have strengthened against it, which in turn has shifted prices for goods and services," head of worldwide cost of living at the EIU Upasana Dutt is quoted as saying on its website. "The pandemic has transformed consumer behavior, as lockdowns and trends such as working from home have increased the prices of consumer electronics and meal-at-home kits have taken the place of restaurant dining for middle-class families."

Trailing shortly behind comes Singapore in fourth place, followed by Tel Aviv and Osaka, Geneva and New York City, Copenhagen, and Los Angeles.

But how much exactly has the economic landscape shifted as a result of the pandemic? Per the report, the cost of living has risen a total of 0.3 points just this year. Part of this change has to do with a rise in product prices, which ultimately has been driven by those shortages—remember when we were all scrambling for toilet paper

"With the global economy unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, spending will remain restricted and prices under downward pressure," Dutt said. "Although much will depend on the course of the pandemic, we expect many of the above price trends to continue into 2021."

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.