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SEOUL — A survey released this week says Tokyo is the second most expensive city in the world for expatriates, climbing two spots from last year.

Seoul, however, dropped from third to fifth in the Mercer’s 2008 Cost of Living survey, which measured the cost of living in 143 cities.

The survey compares the costs of more than 200 items in cities across the world, including housing, transportation, food and entertainment. Mercer says the survey is used to help multinational companies and governments set living allowances for their employees who live overseas.

The weakening of the U.S. dollar contributed to changes within the rankings, a Mercer researcher said.

Moscow remained the most expensive city, followed by Tokyo; London; Oslo, Norway; Seoul; Hong Kong; Copenhagen, Denmark; Geneva and Zurich, Switzerland; and Milan, Italy. New York City, the only American city in the top 50, ranked 22nd.


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