WHERE THE LIVING IS PRICEY
In light of the high-flying yen, it's hardly surprising that Tokyo continues to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to Union Bank of Switzerland's latest survey of 53 cities around the globe, the cost of living in dollars in Tokyo is about 59% higher than in New York and Paris, and 88% higher than in London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles.
The survey also indicates that a basket of 111 goods and services is currently cheapest in Caracas, Prague, Nairobi, and Bombay, where it can be purchased for less than half the tab in New York.
If your income is in line with local norms, on the other hand, Los Angeles, Zurich, Chicago, and Toronto are among the cheapest places to live. Not counting rent, typical aftertax earnings in those cities pack about 11% more purchasing power than in New York and 65% more than in London, Paris, and Stockholm. The least fortunate are residents of Manila, Nairobi, Caracas, and Lagos, whose net earnings buy only 3% to 15% of the items Los Angeles' working natives can afford.GENE KORETZ