Cost of Living information solutions

Your key to designing efficient assignment compensation

Mercer's Cost of Living data provides all the key elements you need to calculate COLAs, as well as the supporting information required so that international assignees understand and accept the results.

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Reliable: Our unique international basket of goods and services reflects realistic spending habits established through years of extensive international assignees research and updated at least biannually.

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Flexible: Choose the methodology that best adapts to your unique mobility program needs and allows you to determine competitive purchasing power for all your employees, wherever they’re moving from.

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User-friendly: Access your data via the modern interface of our Cost of Living Calculator 2.0 for easier and faster COLA calculations and estimates right at your fingertips.

Cost of Living Calculator 2.0

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Cost of Living calculation methodologies

The benefit of two approaches: Choose the methodology that works for you!

Multinational approach

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The multinational approach to calculating cost of living differentials is based on a blended international spending pattern.

The methodology assumes a convergence of spending patterns among expatriates from many different nationalities. With weighting of goods and services the same for all locations, this approach compares prices of similar brands from similar retail outlets in both the home city and host city.

Mercer’s Cost of Living Reports provide differentials for more than 400 cities worldwide.

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Nationality-specific approach

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The nationality-specific approach uses indices and differentials based on unique spending patterns in assignees’ home locations.

Using different weights for each home country or market, it ensures that expatriates can maintain their expenditure patterns in their host locations. This compares prices in the home country/market from a local-national perspective with prices in the host city from an expatriate perspective.

Mercer uses the nationality-specific approach to provide cost-of-living data for more than 400 host and 190 home locations.

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Exchange Rate and Inflation Calculator Gain quick access to a full overview of exchange rate and inflation fluctuations in relevant time periods across multiple currencies and locations.

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Differential Change Analysis Provide your assignees with an easy-to-understand explanation of the changes to their Cost-of-Living allowance.

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Mobility events and training Mercer conducts webcasts on timely topics in global mobility throughout the year, as well as training programs for mobility professionals. Find a session near you!

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Cost of living city ranking See how more than 200 cities compare for the cost of living as an international assignee, plus highlights from our research.

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