Although most economies across the world are now recovering as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, many major cities are still seeing spikes in cases, leading to social restrictions. These have disrupted the supply of goods, leading to shortages and higher prices. We can clearly see the impact in this year’s index, with the rise in petrol prices particularly stark. But not all cities saw price increases. Many of the cities towards the bottom of our rankings saw prices stagnate or even fall, partly because their currencies weakened against the US dollar. Over the coming year, we expect to see the cost of living rise further in many cities as wages increase in many sectors. However, we are also expecting central banks to raise interest rates, cautiously, to stem inflation. So the price increases should start to moderate from this year’s level.Upasana Dutt (Economist Intelligence Unit)