What are you paying for your Big Mac? It might be too much, or it could be just enough. Let's take a look at the Big Mac consumer report and find out.
The Economist has released its 2017 study on what we're paying for Big Macs all over the world, based on a system that measures "PPP." That is, purchasing-power parity. PPP measures the worth of currency based on a country's economics -- such as the cost of living and inflation rates. This way of measuring spending allows us to accurately compare Big Mac prices.
Here's an example of putting the PPP measurement to use: "The average price of a Big Mac in America in January 2017 was $5.06; in China it was only $2.83 at market exchange rates. So the 'raw' Big Mac index says that the yuan was undervalued by 44% at that time," per the Economist study.
Now that that's covered, let's see who's paying the most, and who's paying the least for a Big Mac. Munchies reports that, using this exchange rate from above, we can deduce that Switzerland pays the most for a Big Mac. "[A Big Mac in] Switzerland is $6.35, compared to $5.06 in the US. This means that the Swiss Franc is overvalued by 25.5 percent."
As far as economics go, I am not clear on what that really means for Switzerland's currency, or for the currency of the U.S. for that matter. I am sure, however, that I'm glad I'm not paying the most for a Big Mac, and that I'm sorry for Switzerland for having to pay so much.
The next in line for the most expensive Big Mac is Norway, followed by Sweden, Venezuela and then Brazil. The U.S. is sixth, and Britain is 16th, which means that the British Pound is undervalued by 26.3 percent. Again, I'm not sure what all of that means, but on a scale of how much everyone is paying for a Big Mac, it seems good for Britain … right?
There's a different version of this study that takes GDP and labor into account, and then brings Brazil and Pakistan to the top. This is complicated stuff … I think I'll go have a Big Mac.