Tag: appreciation

Recent evidence from the Institute of Economic and Social Research shows that the UK economy grew in April and May and that 2009 Quarter 2 figures will also show a rise in output. Although annual growth in GDP will still be negative, as the previous three quarters were all negative, recent growth suggests that the recession might have ‘bottomed out’ and that recovery is beginning.

Of course, it’s early days to tell whether these are real ‘green shoots’ or whether the economy will slide back into negative growth once more, but confidence is returning. One sign of this is the recent appreciation of sterling (see). The following articles look the rise of the pound, why it is occurring and whether the green shoots will flourish or wither.

Pound hits 2009 high against euro BBC News (11/6/09)
Sterling: what’s the outlook now? Telegraph (11/6/09)
Sterling hits year’s high versus euro ThisIsMoney (11/6/09)
Sterling leaves euro in its wake on hopes of UK recovery The Herald (11/6/09)
Jeremy Warner: Recession may be over but not the pain Independent (11/6/09)
Taking stock of the different economic signals Times Online (11/6/09)

Questions

  1. Why has the pound been appreciating?
  2. What are the implications of an appreciation of the pound for the UK economy?
  3. Why is the dollar likely to fall as the prospects for the world economy brighten?
  4. What evidence is there that the UK economy is now beginning to recover? What will determine whether or not the recovery will be sustained?

China’s rate of inflation has hit an 11-year high, partly due to the cold winter weather destroying crops and pushing up food prices. However, inflationary pressure has been growing for some time with rapid economic growth and the resultant pressure on resources. This is despite six increases in interest rates in the past thirteen months.

Families feel pinch as inflation threatens economic miracle Guardian (25/2/08)
Chinese inflation soars to an 11-year high Times Online (20/2/08)
Chinese inflation hits 11 year high Times Online (19/2/08)

Questions

1. Explain the principal factors that have led to the increase in inflation in China.
2. “Policymakers in China will likely try to tighten monetary policy further, with more reserve requirement ratio hikes, faster Chinese yuan appreciation, and more heavy handed controls over bank lending.” Discuss the likely effectiveness of these policy measures.
3. Assess the extent to which changes in food prices will affect the overall level of aggregate demand in the Chinese economy.

In March 2007, the pound reached a record high against the dollar. This made it an excellent time for UK tourists to visit the USA with prices appearing relatively low thanks to the exchange rate. These exchange rate values also affected the balance of payments of both the USA and the UK and the article below looks at the economic impact of the high exchange rate against the dollar.

Why everything’s almost free in America (and why it won’t last) Guardian
(23/4/07)

Questions

1. Explain the principal reasons for the change that has taken place in the exchange rate in recent years.
2. “On a PPP basis, a pound should buy $1.60”. Explain what is meant by this statement.
3. “My bet is that within a year the rate will be closer to $1.60 than $2. Maybe a lot closer.” Assess the impact of this possible outcome on economic growth and inflation in the UK.
4. Examine the likely impact of the high exchange rate on the balance of payments situation of (a) the USA and (b) the UK.

It was over 25 years ago that £1 was worth more than $2 on the foreign exchange markets, but that important psychological barrier was broken again this month as the value of sterling crept above $2 on foreign exchange markets. The continuing weakness of the dollar is making life difficult for UK exporters and also for firms in the Eurozone as the weakness in the dollar also affects the Euro and other major currencies.

Pound reaches 26-year dollar high BBC News Online (18/4/07)
UK pound goes through $2 barrier BBC News Online (17/4/07)
Yen hits record low against euro BBC News Online (16/4/07)
Pound hits 25-year dollar high Guardian (18/4/07)
British pound breaks through $2 International Herald Tribune (17/4/07)

Questions

1. Explain the impact of the weak value of the dollar on international markets on the price of UK imports and exports.
2. Assess the likely impact of the high value of sterling on the major UK economic targets.
3. Assess policies that the government could use to try to reduce the value of sterling against the dollar if they chose to.