Vilnius the least expensive EU capital

  • 2006-10-02

VILNIUS - Vilnius has become least expensive capital of the European Union, according to a survey by the Swiss bank UBS.

The bank's study compared the cost of a basket of 122 goods and services in major cities across the world. It found Vilnius to have the lowest costs in Europe, close behind Tallinn and Riga. Oslo proved to be the world's most expensive city, followed by London.

However Baltic nations remain far behind in average wages. Workers in Vilnius were the second-lowest paid of any city in Europe.

To demonstrate the real purchasing power of an hour of work, the bank compared the amount of minutes an employee must work in order to afford a Big Mac at a McDonald's restaurant.

According to the Big Mac index, it takes an average employee in New York 13 minutes. The same product requires employees in Riga to work for 28 minutes, 39 minutes in Tallinn and 43 minutes in Vilnius. The global average Big Mac purchasing time was 35 minutes.