Almaty Listed among World’s Top 350 Cities for Purchasing Power


Photo credit: Maxim Zolotukhin.

ASTANA – Almaty has entered the top 350 cities in the world in terms of purchasing power and is first among large cities in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, which publishes annual rankings. The Central Communications Service (CCS) announced the results on June 21.

With 79.31 points, the former capital of Kazakhstan and the country’s largest city is ahead of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev and Minsk in the CIS, and ahead of Istanbul, Bangkok, Athens, Naples and Rio de Janeiro, the CCS reports.

Purchasing power is described as the financial ability to buy goods and services, and the value of a currency expressed in the amount of goods or services it can pay for.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis organisation of The Economist Group, the sister company of The Economist Magazine. The EIU publishes a variety of global economic, political and social rankings each year, including the purchasing power index.

Other 2015 rankings have also been published recently. The Numbeo website has issued purchasing power rankings that also place Almaty ahead of Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Riga, Rio de Janeiro and other cities in terms of purchasing power, and ahead of global destinations Bangkok, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing and Rome, among others, in terms of quality of life. Numbeo’s particular quality of life calculator weights pollution and safety heavily, according to the website.

Numbeo also ranked Kazakhstan’s local purchasing power overall above Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine in the region. Local purchasing power shows relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given area for the average wage in that area, according to the websites, meaning citizens of Kazakhstan can buy more goods and services in New York City, the standard, than can those on average salaries in the other countries it outranks.

Mercer, a global consulting company covering talent, health, retirement and investments, released its annual expatriate cost of living rankings on June 17, and ranked Almaty 94 (tied with Luxembourg) out of 211 cities in terms of the cost of living for expats. Almaty has grown somewhat more expensive, rising from 111th place in 2014. Luanda, Angola was ranked the most expensive city for expats for the third year in a row.

The Mercer expatriate cost of living index analyses the costs of over 200 goods and services in more than 360 cities worldwide, according to the company’s website. It uses New York as the base city and the U.S. dollar as the base currency to calculate the relative rankings.

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