Global Economic Analysis - Currency Appreciation and Depreciation

Current and Financial Account Surpluses and Deficits
Current account deficits (or surpluses) and financial deficits (or surpluses) do not directly affect an economy. In fact, these deficits (surpluses) are actually the result of what is occurring in an economy, instead of being the cause. Trade deficits often occur when a nation's economy is growing faster than the economies of its trading partners. Rapid domestic growth increases the demand for imports, while slow or no growth with foreign economies can cause a decline in demand for the country's exports.

Trade balances are also affected by capital flows. If a nation's economy offers investment opportunities that are relatively better than other nations, then capital will flow into the country. With flexible exchange rates, this capital inflow will tend to increase the value of the nation's currency.

Economic statistics support the hypothesis that trade deficits are associated with investment opportunities and economic growth. Between 1973 and 1982, which was a time of stagnant economic growth for the U.S., trade deficits and net foreign investment were fairly small. As the U.S. economy grew rapidly after the 1982 recession, net foreign investment greatly increased. During the recession of the early 1990s, capital inflow greatly decreased and the current account was actually slightly positive during one of those years. The time between 1993 and 2000 was one of substantial economic growth; net capital inflows greatly increased, which caused the U.S. dollar to appreciate and the current account ran large deficits.

Budget deficits and trade deficits tend to be linked
An increase in the U.S. government budget deficit will cause an increase in the real interest rate, which causes additional foreign capital to flow into the country. The inflow of foreign currencies will cause the value of the U.S. dollar to increase in relation to other currencies. The increase in value of the U.S. dollar will make U.S. exports relatively less attractive to foreigners and imports into the U.S. will be relatively less expensive; therefore, net exports will go down. The increase in the budget deficit leads to an increase in the trade deficit.

Causes of a Nation's Currency Appreciation or Depreciation
Factors that can cause a nation's currency to appreciate or depreciate include:

·Relative Product Prices - If a country's goods are relatively cheap, foreigners will want to buy those goods. In order to buy those goods, they will need to buy the nation's currency. Countries with the lowest price levels will tend to have the strongest currencies (those currencies will be appreciating).

·Monetary Policy - Countries with expansionary (easy) monetary policies will be increasing the supply of their currencies, which will cause the currency to depreciate. Those countries with restrictive (hard) monetary policies will be decreasing the supply of their currency and the currency should appreciate. Note that exchange rates involve the currencies of two countries. If a nation's central bank is pursuing an expansionary monetary policy while its trading partners are pursuing monetary policies that are even more expansionary, the currency of that nation is expected to appreciate relative to the currencies of its trading partners.

·Inflation Rate Differences - Inflation (deflation) is associated with currency depreciation (appreciation). Suppose the price level increases by 40% in the U.S., while the price levels of its trading partners remain relatively stable. U.S. goods will seem very expensive to foreigners, while U.S. citizens will increase their purchase of relatively cheap foreign goods. The U.S. dollar will depreciate as a result. If the U.S. inflation rate is lower than that of its trading partners, the U.S. dollar is expected to appreciate. Note that exchange rate adjustments permit nations with relatively high inflation rates to maintain trade relations with countries that have low inflation rates.

·Income Changes - Suppose that the income of a major trading partner with the U.S., such as Great Britain, greatly increases. Greater domestic income is associated with an increased consumption of imported goods. As British consumers purchase more U.S. goods, the quantity of U.S. dollars demanded will exceed the quantity supplied and the U.S. dollar will appreciate.

Effect of Monetary Policy
Related Articles
  1. Career Education & Resources

    How Hard are the CFA Exams?

    Learn about the difficulty of the CFA exams with a description of the tests, some statistics on pass rates and suggestions that can help you pass the exams.
  2. Professionals

    What it Takes to be a Financial Analyst

    A financial analyst researches companies and economic conditions to make business, sector and industry recommendations.
  3. Career Education & Resources

    Financial Analyst: Career Path & Qualifications

    Read about what it takes to become a financial analyst in a corporation or securities firm, and learn how far you can rise in the profession.
  4. Career Education & Resources

    Financial Planner: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn what education and certifications you need to become a financial planner, as well as the future prospects and earnings potential for financial planners.
  5. Career Education & Resources

    Where to Find Non-Profit Finance Jobs

    The non-profit sector offers a stable selection of jobs for those who seek other types of fulfillment from their jobs than just purely financial.
  6. Career Education & Resources

    Portfolio Manager: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn about the basic requirements for getting hired as a portfolio manager, and discover how most professionals in the field rise into the position.
  7. Your Practice

    4 Professional Associations Advisors Should Join

    These four professional organizations are among the most respected and well known in the industry.
  8. Professionals

    Equity Research: Career Path and Qualifications

    Find out what equity research analysts do on a day-to-day basis, and learn more about the typical career progression for these securities professionals.
  9. Professionals

    What's on the CFA Level II Exam?

    The Chartered Financial Analyst Level II exam is the second of three tests that CFA candidates must pass.
  10. Professionals

    Financial Data Analyst: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn more about the career options available to financial data analysts, and determine whether the profession is a good match for you.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Personal Financial Advisor

    Professionals who help individuals manage their finances by providing ...
  2. CFA Institute

    Formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and ...
  3. Security Analyst

    A financial professional who studies various industries and companies, ...
  4. Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA

    A professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified ...

    The differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) are many, but comes down ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)?

    According to the CFA Institute, a person who holds a CFA charter is not a chartered financial analyst. The CFA Institute ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of positions might a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) hold?

    The types of positions that a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is likely to hold include any position that deals with large ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Who benefits the most from prepaid expenses?

    Prepaid expenses benefit both businesses and individuals. Prepaid expenses are the types of expenses that are bought or paid ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? ...

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center