Australia: Australian dollar slides to weakest value in over six years
September 16, 2015
On 7 September, the Australian dollar (AUD) fell to 0.69 USD per AUD, bringing the exchange rate to levels not seen since 2009. The figure marked a 25.9% annual deterioration and a 6.0% weakening from the same day last month. Since 7 September, the currency has levelled off and has stabilized around the 0.71 USD per AUD mark.
The value of the AUD has been steadily declining over the past year, and has roughly been in line with the winding down of commodity prices that began in mid-2014. Indeed, the devaluation of the currency has been welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which had called for a weaker dollar in order to stimulate growth as the economy slowed.
The depreciation of Australia’s terms of trade since the beginning of the year does not show any signs of abating. The Chinese economy is enduring structural problems that are limiting growth and thereby reducing demand for Australian exports. Furthermore, concerns over instability surrounding a Fed rate hike, and a strengthening USD, will likely add to the downward pressure on the value of the AUD.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist