Australia: the most expensive country in the world in which to have low-level mid-week fun.
It’s not really what a country wants to be famous for.
Australia’s global cities have yet again topped a list of the priciest global cities for cigarettes and beer in Deutsche Bank’s annual “Mapping the World’s Prices” report.
The report is now run by DB strategist Jim Reid, who also writes the highly-sought-after “Early Morning Reid” daily note on global markets. It compares prices for a range of lifestyle items for the global expat and business community.
The “sin index” looks at the cost of five beers and two packets of cigarettes in 40 cities around the world. (Reid admitted in an email to Business Insider that this was “maybe not a very balanced night”.)
Melbourne is No.1 on the list, with the price for the basket of minor indulgences coming in at $US67. Sydney comes in seventh place, tumbling a whole two places from last year’s fifth spot, with the basket costing $US61.
The results for Australian cities are, of course, severely inflated by the inclusion of two packets of durries on the list. Sydney and Melbourne are the most expensive cities in the 40 surveyed to buy cigarettes, thanks to the world-beating levels of taxes imposed by the federal government on tobacco. Melbourne and Sydney rank a somewhat more respectable 14th and 23rd, respectively, on the list of cities ranked by the cost of 500ml of beer.
(On the “sin index”, Australia’s rankings are set to blow out over the coming years with the government announcing 12.5% increases in tobacco taxes every to 2020 in the federal budget.)
Australia actually ranks quite well on a number of other indulgences, however. For example, Melbourne and Sydney rank mid table – 21st and 22nd – on the league table of the cost of a full-course Italian meal for two. And the cities are 21st and 22nd on the list of cities ranked by the cost of a pair of jeans, and perhaps this should be taken as a sign of the good taste of the Australian market because the prices are for Levis 501s and Aussies with any sense wouldn’t be seen dead in them.
Here’s the full “sin index”. Trip to Manila, anyone?