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Tel Aviv rises to No. 1 on list of world's most expensive cities; NYC 6th

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Tel Aviv rises to No. 1 on list of world's most expensive cities; NYC 6th
Beachgoers wade in the Mediterranean Sea in Tel Aviv, Israel. The city was listed on Wednesday as the world's most expensive due to a rapid rise in inflation. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Rising inflation related to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Tel Aviv, Israel, to the top of a dubious list -- the most expensive cities to live in.

The Worldwide Cost of Living rankings were put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which traditionally ranks the world's most expensive cities each year.

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Last year, there was a three-way tie for the most expensive city among Paris, Hong Kong and Zurich. Tel Aviv was ranked at No. 6 on the 2020 list.

Experts say the city's rise to the top spot reflects the strength of the Israeli shekel against the U.S. dollar.

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Paris and Singapore tied for No. 2 and Zurich and Hong Kong completed the top five. New York City, Geneva, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Osaka, Japan, round out the top 10. The EIU listed war-scarred Damascus, Syria, as the world's least expensive city.

New York City was ranked at No. 6 on the EIU's Worldwide Cost of Living list. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Tehran, Iran, climbed in the ranks from 79th to 29th and three new cities appeared in the top 50, including Edinburgh, Scotland, at No. 27.

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"Supply-chain problems have contributed to price rises, with the COVID-19 pandemic and social restrictions still affecting production and trade across the world," the EIU said in a statement.

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"Not all cities saw price increases," added Upasana Dutt, EIU's head of worldwide cost of living. "Many of the cities toward the bottom of our rankings saw prices stagnate or even fall, partly because their currencies weakened against the U.S. dollar.

"Over the coming year, we expect to see the cost of living rise further in many cities as wages increase in many sectors. However, we are also expecting central banks to raise interest rates, cautiously, to stem inflation. So the price increases should start to moderate from this year's level."

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