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Colombo ranked amongst 10 cheapest cities in the world

Colombo (Sri Lanka) has been ranked amongst the 10 cheapest cities in the world in this year’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey (WCOL), run by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The city was ranked at 161, tying with Bangalore (India) and Algiers (Algeria), while Damascus (Syria), Tripoli (Libya) and Tehran (Iran) were ranked the lowest at 172, 171 and 170, respectively, reflecting their weak economies and currencies.

The EIU noted, however, that this year’s WCOL survey was severely affected by the soaring inflation rates, with Caracas, Venezuela having recorded the highest inflation rates.

Evidently, the product most affected is petrol, prices, the survey indicated, attributing the 22% increase to currency weakness, as oil is seen priced in US dollars.

While the citizens of not only Colombo but across Sri Lanka, staged several protests demanding that fuel prices be reduced, the WCOL survey stated that such protests were seen from Sri Lanka to Spain owing to this dramatic rise in local petrol prices.

They noted, however, that in Istanbul (Turkey) and Colombo, where currency crashes have made imported oil very expensive, petrol prices have soared by an eye-watering 148% and 189%, respectively, in local-currency terms.

Every year, EIU prepares a list of the world’s most affordable and most expensive cities to live in. To compile the ranking, it compares over 400 individual prices of over 200 essential commodities.

The essential commodities include food, drinks, clothing, household supplies, personal care items, and home rent, along with transport, utility bills, education, and recreational costs.

The US city, New York, acts as the survey’s base city, with an index of 100, and the other cities are ranked comparatively for the Worldwide Cost of Living report.

Furthermore, the study helps HR and finance managers assess cost-of-living allowances and develop compensation packages for expatriates and business travelers. It is carried out in supermarkets, mid-range retailers, and specialized stores.

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