Results from a Clarín international study of the costs of basic necessities in metropolitan areas around the world finds Buenos Aires products cost the most, up to 70 percent more, than in other major cities around the world. The individual and aggregate costs of food, beverages and toiletries were included in the study, which has been ongoing annually since 2013. Clarín reports that last year, the cost disparity between Buenos Aires and internationally equivalent cities has never been higher.
The study looked at the aggregate cost of the 27 most basic necessities, including things like bottled water, whole milk, white bread, and shampoo. The products were controlled in costs for brand quality and size of packaging. Here’s a breakdown of cost differences between Buenos Aires and other cities from 2016:
Buenos Aires is the most expensive city to buy the same 27 daily living products. The cheapest metropolitan hub to buy groceries and personal care items in 2016 was Madrid, coming in 68 percent lower than Buenos Aires. London was about as low as Madrid (65 percent lower than Buenos Aires), whereas New York has minor differences in living material costs from Buenos Aires. As a whole, Europe had 50 percent cheaper products than Buenos Aires.
With the exception of whole milk, which was consistently AR $22 in most capitals, Buenos Aires adds to be the most expensive city to buy these products in. In stark contrast to Madrid, which we already know from the aggregate data was the cheapest city surveyed, coffee cost AR$ 55 more, chips cost AR$ 42 more and mineral water about 275 percent more.
Thankfully, not all products are as disparately priced. There are nearly no differences in the costs of eggs, and fresh produce may even be more expensive in North America and Europe, depending on where they are purchased.
So why the mark-up in Buenos Aires? Supermarket owners are blaming the “high labor costs and tax rates.” Financial analysts estimate the value of the Argentine peso among the more stable values of the US dollar, UK pound, and Euro contribute the price differences.
To add insult to injury, the average salary of a worker in New York City or London is three times that of a Buenos Aires resident (according to Clarín). If you’re thinking about getting away, at least the US Visa and Customs entry process just got streamlined.