As reported by the media in September, the 2012 edition of the Prices and Earnings study conducted by UBS revealed some surprising and controversial findings about price levels in Montréal and Toronto. The study results prompted us to find an alternative data source and compare price levels in various metropolitan areas to check whether the findings were accurate. We chose the Worldwide Cost of Living biannual survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit and we would like to share the survey results and findings with you because we believe they reflect reality.
- Greater Montréal has a significant cost advantage in three of the nine categories we have data for: education, housing and personal care.
- In the Toronto area, for instance, housing costs and the cost of education for a child from kindergarten to Grade 12 are, respectively, 20% and 40% higher than in Montréal.
- Utility costs are generally higher in Montréal than in the other metropolitan areas surveyed. We believe this is due to Québec’s severe winters, which drive up energy costs for Québec households.
- Food is also more expensive in Montréal than in all other metropolitan areas in the study, except for Paris.
- Montréal ranked in the middle of the pack for all other cost categories (household items, clothing, leisure and transportation).
Francis Langlois, Economic Studies Department, January 25, 2013
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit
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