While Australia — particularly Sydney and Melbourne — may have some of the world’s most expensive housing, a global ranking suggests everyday services are not as costly here as we may believe.
Many people have heard of the so-called “Big Mac Index”, where the price of the iconic McDonald’s burger is compared globally as a measure of pricing an identical item across countries and currencies.
However a UK laundry service has used the cost of dry cleaning a suit to rank 100 cities from around the world, including several here in Australia.
While it may not be the financial and corporate centre of Australia, the nation’s capital, Canberra, ranked as our most expensive city in Zipjet’s 2018 Global Dry Cleaning Index, and the 21st most expensive city worldwide.
According to the ranking, the average cost of dry cleaning a suit is $US18.74.
Sydney and Melbourne huddled together in 50th and 51st places respectively, with an average cost of $US13.30 and $US12.92 for the same suit cleaning service.
No other Australian cities were on the list.
Nationally, Australians were found to spend a combined $US285 million on dry cleaning each year.
If you thought these figures for a simple dry clean were expensive, consider the most expensive city in the world is almost three times that of Canberra.
Norway’s capital city Oslo took out the title for most expensive suit dry cleaning at a hefty $US52.03. In fact, Scandinavian cities took five of the top six spots: Oslo was followed by Helsinki, Finland; Gothenburg, Sweden; Aarhus, Denmark; Zurich, Switzerland; and Stockholm, Sweden.
And if you do a lot of business in New Zealand, consider doing your dry cleaning at home before you leave — Auckland took out the number eight spot, with an average cost $US24.38.
“For traditionally business-oriented cities, such as Oslo, Helsinki and Zurich, our study shows that citizens are paying between 13–30 per cent more to dry clean their suits than the rest of the world,” Zipjet founder and managing director Florian Färber.
“Although you could consider this a ‘suit tax’, our data also shows that as salaries are higher in these nations, it would only take around 1–3 hours of working at minimum wage to afford such a service in these cities.”
In case you were wondering, Australians spend a relatively small amount on dry cleaning compared with other nations. Russians top the list, forking out over $US3.2 billion annually. The Germans, French, British and Americans all spend above $US1 billion each year
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.