Due to the inflation, estimated between 10 and 20 percent and to the drop in the dollar's value, Buenos Aires City is more expensive than last year, but it still ranks among the cheapest cities in the world for foreigners, according to a international survey on the cost of life carried out by Mercer pollsters.
The Argentine capital ranked 138 among 143 cities worldwide, while in 2007 it was 139th. Moscow is the most expensive city in the world for third year in a row; it is followed by Tokyo, which escalated two positions since last year. London dropped one position this year, ranking third. The capital of neghbouring Paraguay, Asunción, was ranked as the least expensive city for the sixth consecutive year. The most expensive South American cities are Sao Paulo, 25th, and Río de Janeiro, 31th. In the region, Montevideo and Caracas, which climbed from 129 to 89, turned out to be more expensive than Buenos Aires. The survey measures the comparative costs of 200 categories of products and services in each city, including housing, transport, food, clothes, domestic appliances, and entertainment. According to Mercer's analysis, the weakening of the US currency caused important changes in this year's ranking. The international increase in food and oil prices has also affected the ranking.(BAH)