India cheapest major economy; Australia most expensive: Survey

Tags: Economy
Notwithstanding high inflation rate, India is the cheapest major economy in the world, according to a survey of global prices of products that are comparable across countries.

According to a report by German banking giant Deutsche Bank, a weaker Indian rupee has allowed India to remain the cheapest major economy in the world despite persistently suffering the highest inflation rate.

"The fact that India still runs a large current account deficit illustrates that being competitive is more than just being cheap," the report titled The Random Walk, Mapping the World's Prices 2014 added.

Australia is overall the most expensive major economy, while the United States is the cheapest developed country.

Brazil remains very expensive for a developing country, the survey said adding that China remains very cheap in some categories like car rentals, while for a number of branded goods, it is more expensive than the US.

In many categories China is steadily converging on US prices.

"For a number of branded goods like Levi's jeans, Adidas shoes and iPhones, we found it to be more expensive than the United States," the Deutsche Bank report said.

Singapore remains, by far, the most expensive place to buy a car and HK for renting office space.

Zurich was also found to be exceptionally expensive in many categories so much so that a haircut in Zurich can cost about fifteen times that in an Indian city.

Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai to be the cheapest places for a weekend holiday while Sydney is the most expensive.

It is much cheaper to spend a weekend in Tokyo than in Sao Paulo or Moscow. Indian cities are the cheapest places for a movie-and-burger date, while Cape Town, Johannesburg, Manila and Mexico City are also affordable. London is the most expensive city for a date.

In terms of hiring and deployment of an MBA, Johannesburg is the cheapest place while we recognise the problem of comparing quality across countries and business schools, the US, UK and France are very expensive places to hire and deploy an MBA from a top school.

Interestingly, it is almost as expensive to deploy a graduate from a top school in Mumbai as it is in Singapore.

The survey is an overview of prices and price indices of a wide array of goods and services from around the world.

The data was culled both by directly surveying prices posted on the Internet and from secondary sources that have collated such data.

"In order to ensure that prices are comparable across countries, we have tried to use products that are standard across countries or have close substitutes," the report said.

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