Mumbai has emerged India's most expensive city for expatriates, climbing 25 places to 57th in the Mercer cost-of-living ranking on the back of rapid economic growth, inflation on the goods and services basket and a stable currency against the US Dollar.
Mumbai, also the most populous city in India, is followed by New Delhi (99) and Chennai (135) which rose in the ranking by thirty-one and twenty-three spots, respectively.
Bengaluru (166) and Kolkata (184), the least expensive Indian cities, climbed in the ranking as well.
Elsewhere in Asia, Bangkok (67) jumped seven places from last year. Jakarta (88) and Hanoi (100) also rose in the ranking, up five and six places, respectively. Karachi (201) and Bishkek (208) remain the region's least expensive cities for expatriates.
In fact, Mumbai (57) is ranked more expensive than cities like Auckland (61), Dallas and Paris (62), Canberra (71), Seattle (76) and Vienna (78 ) .
New Delhi and Mumbai have become more expensive over the last year, and their rankings have gone up substantially.
"Residential rental prices increased in Mumbai and New Delhi. Due to demonetization, real estate sales market has been severely hit. However, the rental market benefitted from the consumers' sudden withdrawal from the purchase market, thereby putting pressure on rental prices" said Ruchika Pal, India Practice Leader, Global Mobility at Mercer.
Mercer's 2017 Cost of Living Survey finds Asian and European cities – particularly Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), and Singapore (5) – top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates. The costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, is Luanda (1), the capital of Angola. Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer's costliest cities for expatriates are Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10).
The world's least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer's survey, are Tunis (209), Bishkek (208), and Skopje (206).
Mercer's annual Cost of Living Survey finds African, Asian, and European cities dominate the list of most expensive locations for working abroad.
Since mobility has become a core component of multinational organizations' global talent strategy, and the number of international assignees working in number of locations has increased, organisations are focusing on evaluating assignments from a cultural perspective, preparing for regional and lateral moves, and modifying compensation approaches to stay competitive. As organizations grapple with these challenges, they are working hard to accommodate the needs of their workforce and to support employees' careers.
According to Mercer's 2017 Global Talent Trends Study, fair and competitive pay as well as opportunities for promotion are top priorities for employees this year – not surprising given the current climate of uncertainty and change.