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Rio, Sao Paulo Climb List of Most Expensive Cities

Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo Advance in Costliest Cities
The Christ the Redeemer statue, or "O Cristo Redentor" in Portuguese, stands overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazils economy grew by 7.5 percent last year, the most in two decades. Photographer: Rich Press/Bloomberg

Brazil’s two biggest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, are among the highest climbers in a list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, as the nation’s economic growth continues to outpace Europe and the U.S.

Sao Paulo jumped to 10th place in the list of 214 cities, from 21st last year, while Rio de Janeiro surged to 12th from 29th, according to a report today from consulting firm Mercer. Luanda in Angola remained the world’s most expensive city as accommodation prices hit a record. Tokyo retained second spot, while Geneva, at 5th, and Zurich at 7th, were Europe’s only top 10 entries. No U.S. city made the top 10. Moscow was fourth.

Brazil’s economy grew by 7.5 percent last year, the most in two decades, and consumer prices are estimated to rise 6.3 percent this year, according to the median forecast in a July 8 central bank survey of about 100 economists published today. The U.S. economy grew at 2.9 percent last year while the U.K.’s economy grew by 1.4 percent.

The rise in the Brazilian Real against the dollar caused the country’s “cities to rise in the ranking,” Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer, said in the report. “In most European cities the cost of living for expatriates has remained relatively stable.”

Singapore moved to 8th from 11th while New York City dropped to 32nd spot from 27th and London slipped one place to 18th. Dublin moved to 58th most expensive city from 42nd.

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