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How Sydney stacks up against other global capitals on relative price changes for key staples

Sydney has been listed in a comparison of prices across global capitals.

Sydney has been listed in a comparison of prices across global capitals. Photo: Getty

A survey of prices across big cities globally claims Sydney has become relatively more expensive than other capitals such as London and Tokyo for some staples, and cheaper for others.

Figures published by Mercer claim that relative price changes for things like eggs and coffee have been higher in Sydney than many other cities amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Other prices, such as those for olive oil, were relatively cheaper in Sydney, Mercer claimed.

The figures were calculated in US dollars and used New York as a “base” city, while there were no calculations that took account for differences in purchasing power between cities.

They are also expressed as single goods rather than a basket – all of which makes it difficult to use the figures to make proper comparisons about differences in living costs across cities.

A good example is petrol, which Mercer claimed fell 0.9 per cent in Sydney over the year to March 2024 – findings based on calculating prices relative to New York and in US dollars.

But in reality, motorists have been squeezed massively by bowser hikes in Sydney over the past year, with petrol being a key driver of cost-of-living pressures for millions of families.

Nevertheless, the Mercer methodology found egg prices rose 7 per cent in Sydney over the year to March, compared to 3.6 per cent in London, 2.2 per cent in Berlin and 3.6 per cent in Beijing.

However, the research claimed relative price movements were higher in Tokyo (22.9 per cent), Madrid (11.6 per cent) and Dubai (7 per cent).

Olive oil prices rose 5.5 per cent in Sydney, which was actually much lower than Tokyo (31.3 per cent), Toronto (31.1 per cent) and New York (36 per cent).

Coffee prices measured under the Mercer methodology rose 22.9 per cent in Sydney, which was much higher than all other capitals outside Istanbul and Buenos Aires.

Prices for haircuts rose 7.3 per cent in Sydney relative to the base capital of New York (in US dollars), according to Mercer, which was higher than Singapore (5.4 per cent), Toronto (6 per cent), Paris (1.5 per cent), and Tokyo (-0.6 per cent).

It was lower than London, which Mercer said experienced haircut prices rise 7.2 per cent (relative to New York in US dollars).

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