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Have questions? Email Send your question to bfriedberg@smartasset.com

What Does It Mean to Have a Strong Currency?

Because of Brexit, the pound – i.e., British currency – has just plunged to a thirty-year low against the dollar. The euro has also fallen to a low against the dollar. The Japanese yen’s value has also gone up in value in comparison to the pound. But what does that mean for you – if you haven’t invested in currency? And what does it mean for a currency to be strong or weak? It might affect you more than you think.

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What Makes a Currency Strong or Weak? 

A currency is classified as strong when it is worth more than another country’s currency – in other words, if the American dollar was worth half a pound, the pound would be considerably stronger than the dollar. That means that the American dollar would be considerably weaker than the pound.

It also means that it would be easier for someone from England to afford a vacation in America than it would be for someone from America to afford a vacation in England. It also means that products from England would cost more for an American, and products from America would cost less in England.

Planning a vacation? Check out which credit card will be best for your travels.

Safe Havens

Some countries have very strong currencies when the world economy is weak or politically unstable. These countries are called “safe havens” because that country is viewed as economically and politically stable. In other words, their currency is likely to recover from any turmoil going on. The U.S. is viewed as a “safe haven,” so the dollar tends to get stronger in times of instability.

Benefits of a Strong Currency

What Does It Mean to Have a Strong Currency?

It might seem like you would want your country’s currency to be the strongest. When your country’s currency is very strong, imported goods are cheaper and it’s easier for you to take a vacation in a foreign country.

You’ll have more disposable income and are more likely to be able to take that vacation you always dreamed of. But it’s not quite that simple.

Related Article: Top 5 Ways to Dodge Expensive Fees on Summer Travel

Benefits of a Weak Currency

Some countries keep their currencies weak on purpose. Why would they do that, if they could get all of the benefits described above?

Well, if it’s cheaper for your country to import goods – because its currency is stronger than another country – that makes it more expensive for the other country to import goods.

In addition, people might buy imported goods instead of domestically produced goods in order to save money. When your currency is weaker, more people want to buy your country’s goods, which means that there will be more demand, which means that there will be more jobs.

The Bottom Line

What Does It Mean to Have a Strong Currency?

A strong currency is good for people who like to travel abroad, and people who like imported products, because those will be cheaper. However, it can be bad for domestic companies.

When currency is weak, that can be really good for jobs, but it’s bad for people who want to travel abroad or use imported products. And with the world getting more and more global, more and more products are imported, so that affects people’s disposable income. Ideally, it’s important to maintain a balance.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/andresr, ©iStock.com/Eva Katalin Kondoros, ©iStock.com/danchooalex

Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher is an expert in money saving strategies. She is currently studying English at Georgetown University. Sarah was born and raised in Manhattan - where she still resides.
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