According to the annual Mercer Human Resources Consulting report on the cost of living, (download a pdf of the top 50 here) Shanghai is now ranked 20th out of the 144 cities surveyed. This report has the complete listings at the bottom and states that Beijing coming in at 14th place and Shanghai at 20th has to do with the fact that the yuan is no longer solely pegged to the US dollar. Most of the changes in the 2006 report have to do with currency fluctuations rather than economic collapse, natural catastrophe or war — which is why Tokyo dropped from 1st place, to be replaced by Moscow. If you consider the cost of living report and the quality of living report together, you can only come to one conclusion: New Zealand. Auckland and Wellington are among the few places that do well both in cost of living and quality of living — more bang for the buck.
Also on Shanghaiist:
Shanghai is less expensive for expats this year
Quality of life on the rise in Shanghai
Photo of Auckland, New Zealand from alistercoyne.