Studying conversations in restaurants in different cities, researchers tallied "touches per hour," or physical contact, as follows:
Rome - 220
Paris - 142
Sydney - 25
New York - 4
London - 0
Given that New York and London are the financial centers of the world, I wonder if touching makes folks more uneasy in those cities because one suspects they may be going after your wallet.
From "The Definitive Book of Body Language" by Allan & Barbara Pease. The stats are on page 105.