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The Tel Aviv skyline. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

Tel Aviv, Israel, rose to the top of the 2021 rankings of the world's most expensive cities, eclipsing such notoriously pricey metropolises as New York (No. 5) and Paris and Singapore (which tied for second place).

  • The annual Worldwide Cost of Living report (download) includes 173 cities and is put out by the Economist Group's Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • Per the report: "The inflation rate of the prices that we track ... across cities is the fastest recorded over the past five years."
  • "It has accelerated beyond the pre-pandemic rate, rising by 3.5% year on year in local-currency terms in 2021, compared with an increase of just 1.9% in 2020 and 2.8% in 2019."

The rise of Tel Aviv — which climbed from fifth place last year — "mainly reflects its soaring currency and price increases for around one-tenth of goods in the city, led by groceries and transport, in local-currency terms," EIU said.

Details: According to the report, Rome saw the biggest rankings drop — to 48th from 32nd — "with a particularly sharp decline in its shopping basket and clothing categories."

  • Tehran climbed the most — to 29th from 79th — as U.S. sanctions on Iran "led to continued shortages of goods and rising import prices."
  • Per EIU: "Most U.S. cities have fallen in the rankings compared with last year, after the government responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by injecting more money into the economy."

Where it stands: The 10 most expensive cities are:

  1. Tel Aviv
  2. Singapore/Paris (tie)
  3. Zurich
  4. Hong Kong
  5. New York
  6. Geneva
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Osaka, Japan

Go deeper

Inflation hits highest level in nearly 40 years

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The core Consumer Price Index, the measure of the price of goods and services excluding food and energy, increased 0.5% in November, according to data released Friday.

Driving the news: The headline CPI figure, which measures the price of all items, rose 6.8% over the last 12 months, marking the biggest jump in 39 years.

Updated 5 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
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Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.