According to Mercer, the rise of Brussels in the list is the result of, among other things, the high value and the weakening of the euro against the dollar (the study takes the American city of New York as reference). “Living has become more expensive for expats, and without compensation, this is at the expense of their purchasing power,” it sounds. Foreign workers are usually reimbursed through their home country for living expenses in the country where they live and work.
The rise of teleworking and flexible working can also have consequences. «Many employees have reconsidered their structure, the work-life balance where they are going to live. Expats will more often reconsider whether it is attractive to work in Brussels in those circumstances, Mercer says.
The fact that Brussels has become more expensive may also have an impact on its attractiveness. “In the long run, this increase in costs for a company could be plans to withdraw their international workers from Brussels and relocate them to less expensive cities,” Mercer says.
Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the ranking of 227 cities for the fourth time in five years. Last year Ashgabat in Turkmenistan had bought the title. Hong Kong is followed by four Swiss cities: Zurich, Geneva, Basel and Bern. The top ten is completed by Tel Aviv (Israel), New York City (United States), Singapore (Singapore), Tokyo (Japan) and Beijing (China).
For the cost of living index, prices are prices consisting of housing, transportation, clothing, homeware and entertainment.