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Expats feel the pinch

Swiss cities have featured heavily in Mercer’s global 2011 Cost of Living Survey, with Geneva, Zurich and Bern all coming in the top 20.

Luanda, the capital of Angola, remains the most expensive city in the world for expatriates for the second year running, ahead of Tokyo, N’Djamena (Chad) and Moscow.

Geneva ranked fifth, Zurich seventh and the Swiss capital Bern 16th.

Designed to help multinational companies and governments calculate expatriate allowances, the Mercer survey measures currency movements against the dollar over 12 months, and uses price movements in New York City as a base for comparison.

The increase in cost of living was most keenly felt in Australia due to a rise in the Australian dollar against the US dollar, Mercer said. Sydney rose ten places to 14th, while Melbourne jumped from 33 to 21.

London fell one place to 18th, while New York dropped to 32nd from 27th.

Of the 214 cities analysed, expat money went the furthest in Karachi, Pakistan.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR