A little extra wurst

Folks traveling to Berlin in a couple of weeks for the International Insurance Society’s annual gathering have a couple of things to be happy about.

The first, of course, is the fact that the annual seminars are in Berlin, a city I thoroughly enjoyed on my last opportunity to visit there about eight years ago. The second is that Berlin ranks towards the bottom of a new ranking of the world’s 50 most expensive cities.

Moscow tops the list, compiled by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Second on the ranking from Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey is London, followed by Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Rounding out the top 10 on Mercer’s ranking are Copenhagen, Geneva, Osaka, Zurich and Oslo.

And Berlin? It comes in 45th in Mercer’s survey, tied with Abu Dhabi and Dusseldorf.

Due to the dollar’s weakness, only two U.S. cities made the top 50, New York at 15 and Los Angeles at 42.

Mercer’s annual survey covers 143 cities, comparing them on the local cost of more than 200 items including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.

Mercer noted that 30 of the 50 most expensive cities were in Europe, adding that strong currencies contributed to the higher relative cost of living in most European cities.

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