Sunday, September 16, 2012

Zurich Prices

Ah, yes, that explains the big sucking sound.  Data copped from UBS shows   that Zurich is indeed the most expensive city for foreigners (of 72 cities in the survey--and "foreigners" means "us").    But in terms of local-wage purchasing power it is one of the cheapest.   Tyler Durden got his knickers all in a twist last year when he figured out that a Big Mac at Zurich prices would cost $17.19 dollars.   Exchange rates have moderated a bit since then, so maybe something like $14 (confession: I haven't bought a Big Mac here--nor, I think, in the US).    Anyway, forget that: the UBS data shows that in local wage purchasing power terms, the the Zurich Big Mac is just about 1:1 with New York..

Fun Fact:  Forget about what I said before--this is still a city where a person over 30 can commute by trolley car without counting his life a failure.

1 comment:

Ken Houghton said...

The Big Mac Standard has been used in finance for decades; I first ran across it in The Economist in the early-mid 1980s (1987, iirc), and that may not have been the first time they used it.

You know what you're getting, it's standardized across countries (more or less), and it's a complete meal and probably the baseline price for a "meal out" for working-class-with-some-spare-change.

As a benchmark, it's useful, even if you never buy one. (Most of us look at the prices there, and then baseline based on a burger and a beer at the local publican house. The ratio doesn't tend to skew.)