The U.S. Department of State publishes quarterly report indexes of living costs abroad, quarters allowances, hardship differentials, and danger pay allowances. The statistics are computed by the Office of Allowances for use in establishing allowances to compensate U.S. Government civilian employees for costs and hardships related to assignments abroad. The data are published in January, April, July, and October each year.
Detailed explanations of the methods used in compiling the local and U.S. Government indexes are included in the Technical Notes sections of the January publication. It is important that users be thoroughly familiar with the methods used and their limitations. The indexes are place-to-place comparisons at specific times and currency exchange rates. They cannot be used for measuring cost changes over time at a foreign location. Also, the indexes should not be used to compare living costs of Americans in the United States with the living costs of foreign nationals living in their own country since the indexes reflect only the expenditure pattern and living costs of American families.
The January quarterly report includes information on all locations for applicable allowances and the subsequent quarterly reports for the year (April, July and October) contain only the Cost of Living indexes, Quarters Allowances and Hardship Differentials for those locations that have changed since the previous report.