Currency devaluation example: What is devaluation? Reasons & examples of devaluation of the national currency


They must increase the money supply to lower their currency’s value. When supply is more than demand, the value of the currency drops. By 1992, managing the Quantum Fund created in 1970, George Soros had enough money to influence international markets. After the head of the Bundesbank Helmut Schlesinger suggested in an interview to the Wall Street Journal that lowering German interest rates could negatively affect 1-2 currencies, Soros instantly knew what to do – go short.


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His conclusion was that devaluation was the solution, which went very much against the politics of the time – previous governments had tried to prevent devaluation. Robert Kelly is managing director of XTS Energy LLC, and has more than three decades of experience as a business executive. He is a professor of economics and has raised more than $4.5 billion in investment capital. The fact that the euro fell against the dollar added fuel to the fire, after which Switzerland abandoned the fixed rate that it had been holding since 2011.

Disadvantages to Devaluation

This includes transportation by car, plane, heating and cooling, illumination, food, farming, transport of goods, manufacturing, and public services, among others. Rough plot of historical increase in the per capita energy utilization rate. Reported that the price of fertilize has a negative imp act on rice productivity because farmers tend to reduce fertilizer usage when the price of fertilizer increases. The price of fertilizer almost doubled after the economic crisis. In the study site, the price of urea fertilizer, for instance, was Rp 1000kg−1 in 1996, and increased to Rp 2000kg−1 in 2006.

The most notable modern example of a country devaluing its currency is China. The most recent instance occurred in 2019, when China allowed the value of the yuan to fall relative to the dollar. In 2013, the Japanese Yen depreciated significantly against the dollar. Some analysts believed that outcome was an intentional devaluation.

  • Wang Jun, the Chinese Vice Finance Minister suggested QE2 could “help the revival of the global economy tremendously”.
  • Many economists are of the view that devalua­tion is likely to worsen the balance of trade for the few quarters after the initial devaluation.
  • Devaluation is depreciation of the national currency against hard currencies, whose exchange rate is tightly controlled by the state .
  • When Figures 4-6 are generated using base prices, one obtains a more symmetrical looking changes in imports and exports.
  • It may seem counterintuitive, but a strong currency is not necessarily in a nation’s best interest.
  • Increased exports should result in a reduction in the trade deficit.

Another direct impact of currency devaluation is that it every so often ends in better wages. Devaluation can bring about growth in the costs of services and products over time. The growth in the cost of imports makes purchasers buy their items from domestic manufacturers. The quantity of the cost increases depending on the rate of delivery. It sparked a new round of devaluation among Asian currencies, including the Vietnam dong and the Kazakhstan tenge. From March 2013, concerns over further currency war diminished, though in November several journalists and analysts warned of a possible fresh outbreak.

We Risk Calamity unless China Safely Offloads Unwanted Dollars

Of course the sample period of the underlying model was not a crisis period. It may well be the case that during a financial crisis, concerns about financial stability would mitigate against taking trade actions. This approach, while adequate for normal situations, may inadequately capture the crisis aspects of the current situation.


Other senior policy makers and journalists suggested the phrase “currency war” overstated the extent of hostility. With a few exceptions, such as Mantega, even commentators who agreed there had been a currency war in 2010 generally concluded that it had fizzled out by mid-2011. Devaluation is most often used in a situation where a currency has a defined value relative to the baseline. Historically, early currencies were typically coins, struck from gold or silver by an issuing authority, which certified the weight and purity of the precious metal. A government in need of money and short on precious metals might decrease the weight or purity of the coins without any announcement, or else decree that the new coins have equal value to the old, thus devaluing the currency. Later, with the issuing of paper currency as opposed to coins, governments decreed them to be redeemable for gold or silver .

Why would a government devaluate its currency?

Free market advocates and those favoring laissez-faire policies favor a limited role for the regulator, allowing market participants maximum flexibility. For example, generators would not be obliged to bid their capacity in the market, nor would they be required to explain their bidding strategies or prices. These events occasionally derail what could otherwise have been an acceptable outcome. Fuel price increases unrelated to the market reform process, for example, can result in significantly higher retail prices, eroding the political support for market reform. This is evident in the United States, where market reform initiatives have been largely confined to states with above-average costs.

As the exchange rate of a country’s currency falls, exports become more competitive in other countries, and imports into the country become more and more expensive. Both effects benefit the domestic industry, and thus employment, which receives a boost in demand from both domestic and foreign markets. However, the price increases for import goods are unpopular as they harm citizens’ purchasing power; and when all countries adopt a similar strategy, it can lead to a general decline in international trade, harming all countries. Fixed exchange rates are usually maintained by a combination of legally enforced capital controls and the central bank standing ready to purchase or sell domestic currency in exchange for foreign currency. Under fixed exchange rates, persistent capital outflows or trade deficits will involve the central bank using its foreign exchange reserves to buy domestic currency, to prop up demand for the domestic currency and thus to prop up its value.

For instance, Jaring Pengaman Sosial (JPS; safety nets program), a program funded by the World nordfx forex broker overview, provided cash to help poor households face the impact of the economic crisis. With exports increasing and imports declining, it is expected that devalua­tion will reduce a country’s trade deficit. This will cause the increase in quantity demanded of Indian exports.


A country’s government can also influence the currency’s value with expansionary fiscal policy. However, expansionary fiscal policies are mostly used for political reasons, not to engage in a currency war. In both cases, the consequences of devaluation and revaluation were not fatal, which cannot be said about the spontaneous depreciation of money in developing and underdeveloped countries. Zimbabwe completely abandoned its currency for 10 years, Venezuela still cannot get out of a protracted crisis that has lasted for years, and the series of devaluation processes in Russia in the 1990s ended in default. Such a strong appreciation of the national currency harmed Swiss exporters. And since the country was export-oriented, Switzerland’s stock market crash amounted to more than 10%.

Donors have ignored failures in some countries and have pretended that conditions have been met when the reality is otherwise. The 1995 World Bank report highlights that generally adjustment lending has promoted good policies, but achieved weak program results. In most cases, the implementation of programs has failed due to internal political pressures within the country rather than the donor pressures. Donors also do not have much influence in bringing about political change.

Devaluation and depreciation indicate how affordable the foreign products are, whereas deflation occurs entirely in the country’s economy. However, if a currency’s value changes domestically, it may alter the exchange rate and vice versa. Devaluation of currency leads to an increase in prices over a period as imports become more expensive and demand for indigenous goods rises, which could increase the prices. In addition, as exports become cheaper, manufacturers have lesser incentives to trim costs, which could also lead to rising costs over time. Devaluation of a currency results in an increase in the company’s exports and a decrease in imports, narrowing down the trade deficit and improving the balance of payments. Swiss exporters were able to be more competitive in the European market because their goods seemed relatively less expensive when the fixed exchange rate limited how valuable the Swiss franc could be.

devalue their currencies

If all try to devalue at once, the net effect on exchange rates could cancel out, leaving them largely unchanged, but the expansionary effect of the interventions would remain. Devaluation happens when a government changes the fixed exchange rate of its currency. It can only occur when a central bank controls the exchange rate.

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