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Overpriced Overseas

These days most Americans are angry about the fact that everything from fuel to food to football tickets costs more. In fact, consumer prices increased 2.1 percent year-over-year in the first quarter. In April they were up 3.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet on a global basis the U.S. has become a bargain, compared to some other countries, as the U.S. dollar weakens and costs balloon in other places, according to results from a new report by ECA International, a global human resources company. The semiannual survey, which compares the price of food and basic goods and services—but not housing, utilities, or school fees—for expatriates in more than 400 cities around the world, ranked Australian cities higher for cost of living this year, mainly the result of currency changes. The Australian dollar has appreciated about 30 percent against the U.S. dollar since last June, and the Swiss franc has jumped about 37 percent. Of U.S. cities, Manhattan, which ranked No. 28 on last year's list, fell to No. 44. Honolulu dropped to No. 62, from No. 40.
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