In a study done by Deutsche Bank on world prices, it was found that the US is home to some of the best bargains. While China was also found to have its fair share of deals, the results are quite different when it comes to name brands such as Apple or Adidas.
“While China is still a lot cheaper [than other countries], the gap is much smaller than it used to be, and there are some categories where the gap has closed,” said Sanjeev Sanyal, author of the report.
Though taxes play a role in China’s cost difference, even without, The Wall Street Journal reports that luxury sedans cost up to 37 percent more, and leather goods about 50 percent more, in China than the US.
For the budget-conscious shopper, China makes up for such brand name price hikes with more affordable commodities. A Big Mac in China is just $2.74 compared to $4.62 in the US, and a two-liter of Coke is only $1.13. Beer remains quite reasonably priced as well at an average of $2.43 a pint compared to $7 in New York.
China also has the upper hand when it comes to affordable public transportation. A standard fare will cost you around $0.16 which looks pretty good compared to $2 in San Francisco, or $2.50 in New York. Car rentals are also considerably lower. A one day rental in China will run about $32 as opposed to $37 in India, $53 in Mexico, and a steep $121 in the US.
When it comes to travel options, Sanyal recommends staying in Shanghai rather than Beijing.
“If you’re local, Beijing is cheap. On the other hand if you happen to be visiting from somewhere and you have to rent a hotel room, then it can be very expensive,” he said. In a cost comparison, they found that a weekend with accommodations in Beijing will cost around $1,052 compared to Shanghai which runs about $769.
Although China is known for having some high cost items, it is possible to balance out these expenses and enjoy a relatively low-cost trip. The government has also recently been working to lower prices on luxury items and services including airfare and cuisine, so China might just manage to move up the ranks of future world price reports.
image credit: s. yume