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A new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit details how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global price of consumer goods; Los Angeles currently ranks as the 10th most expensive city in the world.
According to the report, the price of 138 goods and services in 130 cities rose by an average of 0.3 points over the past year. Currently, Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong top the list as the most expensive cities in the world, meanwhile, New York is tied with Geneva, accounting for the seventh and eighth place rankings.
The report looked at costs in 10 categories, including recreation, personal care, tobacco, alcohol, domestic help, transport, groceries, household expenses, utilities and clothing. Price changes in those categories occurred due to a variety of variables, including currency volatility, issues with supply chains, taxes and subsidies and shifts in consumer behavior. For example, Tehran’s Worldwide Cost of Living index rose 10 points due to U.S. sanctions. A rise in European currencies against the U.S. dollar led, in part, to price decreases in Africa, North and South America and Eastern Europe, but also led to increases in Western Europe.
The report found that the largest price increases occurred in tobacco and recreation, while clothing prices saw the biggest drops. That seems pretty obvious if you look at consumer behavior. Why buy new clothes when there’s nowhere to go?
Conversely, the cost of consumer electronics shot up, mostly due to manufacturing issues. When Wuhan shut down, and with it its electronics manufacturing companies, product shortages followed and drove higher prices for laptops and computers. Los Angeles is among the most expensive cities for computers, where the average cost of a personal computer is now $1,601, compared to $1,107 in 2015.
The report expects current trends to continue into 2021, as the global economy probably won’t bounce back to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2022. You can check the report out for yourself here.