London: life ain't cheap

As anyone who's ever suffered the pain of paying £4 for a bottle of beer will attest, you need deep pockets if you want to live in London. And this has been driven home by a new survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which ranks our capital the second most expensive city in the world.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010
While the dubious honour of costliest city fell to Moscow for the second consecutive year, London leapt three places following the strong performance of the pound against the dollar and a sharp rise in rents. All of which is good news for landlords, if galling for American tourists and those of us who object to paying £2 for a single bus ticket.

Elsewhere in the UK, Glasgow and Birmingham both rose up the rankings, but at 36 and 41 respectively they remain some distance behind London. Which only enhances the appeal for anyone keen to run a business without the daily tube hassles or occasional terror alert.
The rankings, which cover 143 cities, can also be seen as a positive gauge of demand - London clearly retains great a pull on the world's businesses, which forces the prices up. We're not quite sure how that applies to Moscow, where the downer of digging deep for a pint of Baltika is enhanced by the chance that if you offend your local oligarch you may end the day sleeping with the fishes in the river Volga.

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