Due to the economic crisis, Ashgabat tops the Cost of Living Index

Consulting agency ECA International published an annual Cost of Living Index featuring the most expensive cities across the globe.

According to the survey, Ashgabat in Turkmenistan is considered to be the location with the highest cost of living in the world, which rose a staggering 110 places from last year, moving upward from the 111st (in 2018) to the 1st place.

The company representative said: Although the rise of Ashgabat in the rankings may be a surprise to some, those familiar with the economic and currency issues experienced by Turkmenistan over the past few years may have seen this coming. Everescalating levels of inflation, coupled with a prominent illegal black market for foreign currencies pushing up the cost of imports, mean that at the official exchange rate, costs for visitors to the capital city Ashgabat have increased enormously putting it firmly at the top of the rankings.

Ashgabat has left two Swiss cities behind Zurich (ranked 2) and Geneva (3), which are traditionally placed at the top of the rating. These are followed by Hong Kong 4, Basel (Switzerland) 5, Bern (Switzerland) 6, Tokyo (Japan) 7, Seoul (the Republic of Korea) 8, Tel Aviv (Israel) 9 and Shanghai (?hina) 10.

When compiling the ranking. ECA International's Cost of Living Survey compares a basket of likeforlike consumer goods and services commonly purchased by an ordinary tourist. Experts compare prices for food such as meat and fish, groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables. Moreover, financial affordability of leisure services, general services, clothing, household goods, alcohol and tobacco is estimated.

The agency, however, acknowledges that the ranking does not take into account a range of important indices. For example, certain living costs such as accommodation rental, utilities charges (electricity, gas, and water), car purchases and school fees are not included in the survey. Such items can make a significant difference to expenses but are usually compensated for separately in expatriate packages.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan