Global currencies are crashing left and right.
Russia’s ruble and Mexico’s peso recently hit all-time lows against the dollar. The currencies of Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all down 28% or more in the past 12 months. Turkey and South Africa have also fallen by double digits over that time.
Weak currencies are often a sign of an economic slowdown. China posted its worst growth last year in a quarter century, and Brazil is in its longest recession since the 1930s.
These huge currency shifts have also created opportunities and challenges.
When a currency falls, it makes a country’s exports cheaper and more attractive to foreign buyers. At the same time imports get more expensive, which can entice locals to buy products made in their own country. Some countries and companies benefit, others lose.
At the same time, international travel from countries with higher valued currencies rise, while those from devalued currencies fall.