Toronto and the Big Mac Price Index - The Intrepid

Friday, August 21, 2009

Toronto and the Big Mac Price Index

Big Mac Price Index

According to a new price and earnings report released by UBS, the Swiss financial services company, Toronto is the thirty-first most expensive city in the world. The report ranked Oslo as the most expensive, followed by Zurich, Copenhagen, Geneva, Tokyo, and New York. In terms of purchasing power, UBS ranked Toronto seventeenth. In comparison, Montreal ranked twelfth.

The study also published statistics on how long it takes the average worker in a city to earn the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac. The time-based index, though flawed, as conditions such as local taxes and import duties distort relative Big Mac prices, is useful in comparing purchasing power. According to the report, on average, it only takes Torontonians twelve minutes to earn the price of a Big Mac. In comparison, it takes fifteen minutes in Montreal, fourteen minutes in New York, twenty minutes in Paris, and one hundred and twenty-nine minutes in Mexico City (the global average is thirty-seven minutes).

UBS also examined other goods. It takes Torontonians fifteen minutes to earn a kilogram of bread, eight minutes to earn kilogram of rice, and 10.5 hours to earn an 8GB iPod Nano.

The graph above is from The Economist.


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