The current financial crisis is hitting a lot of people very hard, and it's a shame to see so many "For Sale" or "For Rent" signs above a load of shutters in and around the city centre - there seems to be another one up every time I go out. However, Barcelona has more or less maintained it's position with regards to prices of rented accommodation, house prices (despite what you read) local produce and goods. Don't believe me?
Well, just ask the clever people at The Economist's Intelligence Unit, who have produced their list of the top most expensive cities to live in - with some surprising results. It's probably no surprise to hear that the top 2 cities are Japanese - Tokyo and Osaka (Tokyo also has the most Michelin Star restaurants than any other city, no surprise there then!), but there are some huge movers and shakers, too.
London, for example, which has always been the source of admiration from afar (the normal Spaniard would traditionally have to cough up almost a monthly wage for a weekend away) has fallen from 8th to an incredible 27th position - below even New York (first time since 2002). Barcelona is 18th, and Madrid 20th - not really moving from last year's similar study. The falling Sterling pound and the stability of the US Dollar against the Euro probably has a lot to account for the changes.
For more information about Barcelona in general, and how to save money in the current crisis, check out this Budget Barcelona city guide. Also, consider renting a Barcelona apartment for your next visit.