For the first time in nearly a generation, Tokyo no longer ranks as the world's most expensive city, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Economist Group.
The biannual survey, which covers 130 countries, found Oslo, Norway as No. 1 in terms of cost of living. Tokyo fell to No. 2. The last time Tokyo did not lead all other cities was in 1991 when, due to an overvalued official currency exchange rate, Tehran briefly led the charge.
World's priciest cities
The index uses New York and 100 as its base points. Oslo, at 140, is 40 percent more expensive than New York.
Rank (last year) City Index *
1 (3) Oslo, Norway 140
2 (1) Tokyo, Japan 136
3 (8) Osaka/Kobe, Japan 135
4 (2) Reykjavik, Iceland 130
4 (4) Paris, France 130
6 (5) Copenhagen, Denmark 127
7 (7) London, UK 125
8 (6) Zurich, Switzerland 123
9 (8) Geneva, Switzerland 116
10 (10) Helsinki, Finland 115
*Index based on New York (100)
Source: Economic Intelligence Unit
Japan has suffered from a weakening yen, years of low inflation and a general malaise of the economy.
Oslo moved up one spot from six months ago on the strength of Norway's high consumer confidence, rampant investment and low interest rates, according to the report.
Oslo's score of 140 on the index, which uses New York and a base of 100 as its starting points, means that Oslo costs 40 percent more than New York. Tokyo came in at 136.
European cities now dominate the top 10 list with Reykjavik as the third most expensive city, Paris tied with Osaka for fourth, and Copenhagen sixth.
The most expensive American city, New York, fell into a tie for 27th place with Düsseldorf, Germany. Last year, New York was No. 23.
To show how the mighty have fallen, Tehran now resides in last place among the cities surveyed, at an index value of 33.
Most of the other low scorers represented Latin America, with Asuncion, Paraguay at an index value of 45 leading the Americas, and South Asia, with Karachi, Pakistan at 43. Other inexpensive cities include Manila, Philipines (39) and Mumbai (45).