Londoners have to work an average of 41.2 hours to be able to buy an iPhone 6 – far more than their counterparts in New York City, LA, Miami, Chicago, Zurich or Geneva, where it takes less than 30 hours to notch up enough readies to splurge on the smartphone.
And according to UBS’ Prices and Earnings index 2015, Kenyan capital Nairobi and Indonesia’s capital Jakarta have the lowest purchasing power; workers in these cities can afford just one-tenth of what their equivalents in Luxembourg can buy.
UBS also has its own version of The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which shows how long it would take workers around the world to buy the iconic burger.
According to UBS, Londoners catch up slightly with their rivals in the US and Switzerland, taking us 12 minutes to earn the cash for a Big Mac, compared with 11 minutes in New York and Geneva. Hong Kong is the best place for Big Macs though – there it takes just nine minutes.
Zurich, Geneva and New York City are the most expensive cities in the world to live in. London comes sixth if you exclude rent, or fifth when you take that into account. And it is only 13th when it comes to earning potential.
Nairobi, Jakarta and Kiev are the lowest-ranked cities for earnings, where workers receive only around five per cent of those in Zurich, the best city in the world.
And it might take you 13 weeks to buy an iPhone, but Kiev is still the cheapest city in UBS’ study.
Catherine Neilan, Chris Parmenter