A Strong U.S. Dollar Weighs on the World

A Strong U.S. Dollar Weighs on the World

By Joe Rennison and Karl Russell

Every major currency in the world has fallen against the U.S. dollar this year, an unusually broad shift with the potential for serious consequences across the global economy.

Two-thirds of the roughly 150 currencies tracked by Bloomberg have weakened against the dollar, whose recent strength stems from a shift in expectations about when and by how much the Federal Reserve may cut its benchmark interest rate, which sits around a 20-year high.

High Fed rates, a response to stubborn inflation, mean that American assets offer better returns than much of the world, and investors need dollars to buy them. In recent months, money has flowed into the United States with a force that’s being felt by policymakers, politicians and people from Brussels to Beijing, Toronto to Tokyo.

The dollar index, a common way to gauge the general strength of the U.S. currency against a basket of its major trading partners, is hovering at levels last seen in the early 2000s (when U.S. interest rates were also similarly high).

The yen is at a 34-year low against the U.S. dollar. The euro and Canadian dollar are sagging. The Chinese yuan has shown notable signs of weakness, despite officials’ stated intent to stabilize it.

“It has never been truer that the Fed is the world’s central bank,” said Jesse Rogers, an economist at Moody’s Analytics.

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