Moscow Tops Expensive Cities Again
Moscow topped Mercer's cost of living index for the third year in a row in 2008, proving more pricey than even Tokyo and London (2nd and 3rd places) and absurdly expensive next to New York (which slipped down to 22nd place).
The survey is intended to help big cheeses to determine compensation allowances for their already overpaid staff when they send them abroad, and measures the relative cost of more than 200 items in 143 cities, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
Russia's buoyant economy, and the emergence of a ridiculously wealthy social elite has steadily driven prices up in Moscow with Mercer's measuring the average price of a coffee in the capital as 10.19 American dollars, whilst the average monthly rent on a two-bedroom luxury apartment in Moscow costs $4,500.
If you're on a budget don't fear however. The survey is skewed towards pampered executives who only eat and drink in 'international' class restaurants and who expect their company to look after them properly in compensation for relocating abroad. The real price of living in Moscow is still quite cheap to London say, with a ride on the metro costing 19 roubles (0.80 dollars) as opposed to four pounds (7.80 dollars).