Plunging pound helps reduce EU expat living costs

Published:  8 Jun at 6 PM
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The UK’s cost of living for EU and other expats drawing in money from foreign accounts has fallen dramatically since the Brexit referendum.

A new global cost of living survey has seen the plunging pound sterling bringing benefits for expatriates paid in foreign currencies. UK cities are now the cheapest as regards the cost of everyday living for ten years or more, dropping to 68 places lower in the global survey. Formerly placed high in the listings of the top 100 most expensive cities, London’s ranking of 132nd is an all-time low, down from 65 in 2016. Outranking the formerly expensive city are Bangkok at 116th, Dublin at 120 and Addis Ababa.

The ECA International survey, designed to assist governments and businesses calculate salaries and benefits for employees sent on overseas assignments, looks at the cost of living in 460 world locations using like-for-like consumer goods and services. According to production manager Steven Kilfedder, it’s now cheaper to import staff from outside the UK, whilst UK businesses sending employees overseas are having to pay more.

The decline in UK cities’ positions in the survey’s listings is the most dramatic in Europe and the fifth largest in the world – leaving them lagging behind cities in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Egypt. Cardiff is ranked at 175, Edinburgh at 165 and Belfast has fallen to 186. The results of the survey are good news for expat workers in the UK as they are benefiting from more favourable exchange rates.

However, it’s bad news for Britons, as the weak pound has increased their costs of living. As regards the world’s most expensive cities, the top spot was taken by Angola, due to its poor infrastructure, and overvaluation of its currency. Basel, Zurich, Geneva and Hong Kong completed the top five.
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