Next time you begin to grimace about your tab at Xander’s or groan about the grocery bill at Naheed, think; you’re lucky to be living in the cheapest city in the world! According to a recent survey by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), Pakistan’s financial capital and most culturally diverse city, Karachi heads the list of the cheapest city in the world, followed by India’s IT hub Bangalore, Caracas, Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi.
Using New York as the base, the survey compared prices of 160 goods and services, including utilities, clothing, food and entertainment in 133 cities in the world. For the second year running, the South Asian city-state Singapore emerged as the most expensive, the price-tags at its shopping hub Orchard Road showing a whopping 50 percent premium over those in New York City. For everyday food items, Seoul in South Korea proved to be the priciest, whereas Zurich took the lead in providing the most expensive leisure and entertainment activities.
Karachi has bagged the “most affordable” title for the second consecutive year, mainly due to the drop in inflation rate over the past year. According to State Bank Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, the fall in inflation is “broad-based”. He explains that food prices have either remained stable or decelerated mainly because of better supply conditions, whereas non-food inflation has been stemmed due to a combination of factors like plummeting oil prices, a decline in global market product prices, the impact of conservative monetary policies implemented earlier and a stable exchange rate.
Whatever the reasons, Karachiites and visitors to the metropolis can continue to reap the benefits. So whether it is a trip to Zainab Market or a fancy designer outlet to preen your feathers, whether you are relishing your channa-paapri at Bahadurabad or fine-dining at Cafe Flo, thank your lucky stars, Karachi is the place to be!