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Moscow - Russia's First City and the World's Most Expensive

According to the 2007 cost of living ranking by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Moscow is the most expensive city in the world to live in. Moscow. Not New York, not Tokyo, not even runner-up London, but Moscow.

Even more amazing, Russia's capital topped the list for the second year running. Mercer uses New York as their baseline and considers the costs of housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment in each city. New York finished 15th on the list, which in descending order from Moscow features London, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong. With many people having the impression that Russia is still struggling to establish a viable economy after 75 years of communism, its ranking as the world's most expensive city to live in comes as quite a shock.

A number of factors have conspired to create this situation, most notably the continuing appreciation of the Russian Ruble against the US Dollar. Tourists, diplomats and expatriates will find that renting a luxurious 2-bedroom apartment in Moscow costs approximately $4,000 per month while an international newspaper runs about $6.30 and an average CD displays $24.83 on its sticker.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting publishes these city rankings as a guide for employers who need to know what costs staff members posted to a foreign city can expect to pay for the daily necessities of life - many of which are covered by the company.

While Moscow has evolved into a world class city over the past 15 years and the days of 3-hour waits for a bar of substandard soap outside the GUM store are long gone, exorbitant costs, especially for the goods and services desired by westerners, are the rule today. Keep this in mind before planning a trip to Moscow or if your boss id thinking of transferring you there!


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