According to Mercer's 2016 Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai ranked 82 among a list of other countries and is the most expensive city in the country for expatriates followed by New Delhi (130) and Chennai (158). Mumbai also surpassed major global cities like Seattle (83), Frankfurt (88), Canberra (98), Berlin (100) and Istanbul (101).
New Delhi and Bengaluru have become more expensive over last year, and their rankings have gone up, it said. Bengaluru has witnessed the highest jump in ranking, on account of surge in prices, especially on items pertaining to food and personal care.
The city is also one of the most expensive cities in India on account of transportation, which include taxi fares, cost of auto and auto parts as well as running costs, it said. "Despite volatile global markets and growing security issues, organisations continue to leverage global expansion strategies to remain competitive and to grow.
"With a large number of Indian multinational organisations progressively expanding their footprint abroad, 70 per cent of them are expecting expatriate assignments to increase over the next two years to address business needs as well as build careers and leadership development," said Ruchika Pal, India Practice Leader, Global Mobility at Mercer.
She said pricing, currency stability, inflation in Indian cities have a direct impact on the cost of expatriation for Indian multinationals.
"Costs of goods and services shift with inflation and currency volatility, in home and host cities, making overseas assignment costs sometimes greater and sometimes smaller," she said.
According to the report, Hong Kong tops the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, pushing Luanda in Angola to second position. Zurich (Switzerland) and Singapore remain in third and fourth positions, respectively, whereas Tokyo in Japan is in fifth, up six places from last year. Kinshasa in Congo ranked sixth, moving up from 13th place. Other cities in the top 10 of Mercer's costliest cities for expatriates are Shanghai (7) in China, Geneva (8) in Switzerland, N'Djamena (9) in Chad and Beijing(10).
According to the survey, the world's least expensive cities for expatriates are Windhoek (209) in Namibia, Cape Town (208) in South Africa and Bishkek (207) in Kyrgyzstan bordering Central Asia.