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For most luxury goods, this is the most expensive city in the world

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View of the Hong Kong skyline.

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Hong Kong was found to be the priciest city in the world for luxury products and services, according to a report by private bank Julius Baer.

It is the most expensive place to hire a lawyer, due to being a financial center, with a simple will consultation setting someone back $1,050 on average.

Hong Kong also has among the highest price tags for property, cars, a business class flight, fine dining, a wedding banquet and beauty services.

However, Hong Kong puts no duties on jewelry, meaning it can be a relatively the cheap city to buy this high-end product, though a Cartier Love bracelet will still cost $42,228. It costs even more in Brazil’s capital of Rio de Janeiro, at $54,852, as taxes on jewelry can be double the levies charged in North America and Europe.

Julius Baer surveyed the prices of 18 premium goods and services across 28 cities around the world for its first Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020, released on Thursday.

Asia came out as the most expensive region overall, home to five of the costliest cities in the world – after Hong Kong, this included Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore and Taipei.

Property is particularly costly in the region, with six of the 10 most expensive cities located in Asia. Eight of the 10 most expensive places to buy a luxury car were in Asia, which the report attributed to high import taxes.

But the cheapest city for luxury goods, Mumbai, is also in Asia. High-end men’s suits, wedding banquets and personal trainers are all cheapest in the Indian city. For instance, a wedding banquet for 400 people at a top hotel in Mumbai would cost an average of $21,754.

Having a bottoming residential property market also made the city more affordable for the rich. In fact, wealthy residents are able to buy property at around a tenth of the price of the most expensive city.

It is also found to be relatively good value to stay in high-end hotels, enjoy fine dining, buy whisky and to hire a lawyer in Mumbai.

The most expensive cities globally for luxury goods

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Shanghai, China
  3. Tokyo, Japan
  4. New York, U.S.
  5. Singapore
  6. Los Angeles, U.S.
  7. London, U.K.
  8. Taipei, Taiwan
  9. Zurich, Switzerland
  10. Monaco
  11. Bangkok, Thailand
  12. Paris, France
  13. Miami, U.S.
  14. Vienna, Austria
  15. Sydney, Australia
  16. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  17. Dubai, UAE
  18. Mexico City, Mexico
  19. Milan, Italy
  20. Manila, Philippines
  21. Vancouver, Canada
  22. Jakarta, Indonesia
  23. Moscow, Russia
  24. Barcelona, Spain
  25. Istanbul, Turkey
  26. Frankfurt, Germany
  27. Johannesburg, South Africa
  28. Mumbai, India

Property and taxes

European cities offer the most reasonable value for high-end goods and services, despite the fact that the U.K. capital of London is the most expensive city in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

London is the third most expensive property market in the world, with the average price per square meter of three top-end properties in the city, coming out at $46,359. Yet it is still nearly half that of the average cost for a luxury home in Monaco, where it costs an eye-watering average of $89,240 per square meter.

Brazil’s capital of Rio de Janeiro actually has the highest number of most expensive goods. It was the most expensive place to buy whisky, fine wine, luxury watches, jewelry and ladies’ handbags, due to taxes of up to 300% on high-value items. So a bottle of Macallan 25-year-old Sherry Oak costs $3,153 in the Brazilian capital.

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Australian retailers suffer worst quarter in 20 years, exports shine

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Shoppers walk past a retail store in Australia.

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Australia’s retailers are facing a consumption drought as the country’s second biggest state locks down to fight the coronavirus and as data showed sales volumes suffered their biggest plunge in two decades in the second quarter.

Retail sales adjusted for inflation slipped 3.4% in the June quarter, Tuesday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed, the steepest decline since the introduction of the goods and services tax in 2000. Analysts were expecting a 3.2% fall in the quarter.

The larger-than-expected drop suggests consumer spending will be a drag on gross domestic product growth in the June quarter.

The sales downturn was driven by cafes & restaurants, off 29.1%, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory, down 22%. There were also losses in food retailing.

The slump in volumes contrasts with value-based retail numbers, with June seeing a solid 2.7% jump in monthly sales and May recording a stellar 16.9% rise as shops, restaurants and pubs fully reopened across large parts of Australia.

Economists warned the outlook was clouded by a second wave of coronavirus infections in the state of Victoria, with weekly spending data by the country’s major banks already showing signs of moderation.

Victoria declared a “state of disaster” this week following a relentless surge in coronavirus infections since late June.

In contrast to retailers, Australia’s exporters have been going gangbusters thanks to demand from China for iron ore and other resources, while imports have been hammered by the lockdowns.

Separate data on Tuesday showed the trade surplus swelled to A$8.2 billion in June, taking the total for the second quarter to a whopping A$23.4 billion.

Exports rose 3% in June underpinned in part by sharply rising prices for iron ore and gold, providing a windfall to miners’ earnings and government tax receipts.

Exports to China alone hit an historic high of A$14.6 billion for the month, bringing the rolling 12-month total to A$151 billion.

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New Delhi cannot fully cut off economic ties with Beijing

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India China tensions: New Delhi cannot fully cut off economic ties with Beijing