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Appreciation and Depreciation

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Appreciation and Depreciation

If you turn on the TV at any given time of the day, the likelihood that you will come across a news station that is talking about inflation, the dollar is appreciating or depreciating, rising interest rates, or foreign investments going up or down, is highly likely. But, what does it mean when the dollar is appreciating or depreciating? What causes a currency to gain or lose value and what effect does it even have on the economy? Here, we will take a look at all of these things and see some currency appreciation and depreciation examples along with the appreciation and depreciation formula.

Appreciation and Depreciation Definition

Appreciation and depreciation of a currency refer to the change in the value of one currency in comparison to another currency in the freely floating exchange rate regime. Appreciation occurs when the value of a currency increases in comparison to the value of another currency. Depreciation of a currency occurs when the value of a currency falls in comparison to the value of another currency. Forces of demand and supply for currency determine its value in the freely floating exchange markets.

Appreciation is when a currency experiences an increase in value when it is compared to other currencies.

Depreciation is when a currency experiences a decrease in value when it is compared to other currencies.

To learn about the differences between the fixed and floating exchange rate regimes check out our articles on - Floating Exchange Rate and Fixed Exchange Rate

What determines a currency's value?

To know if a currency appreciates or depreciates we need to know its value. If we look at it simply, a currency’s value is determined by the market's demand and supply for the currency just like any other good or service. Demand for a currency can be influenced by things like a country's interest rate, its inflation rate, how much money moves in and out of a country, or a country's money supply. The exchange rate can then help us determine the value of the currency in comparison to other currencies.

Exchange rate

The exchange rate compares the value of one currency to another and is often the go-to measure for currency value. The foreign exchange market is where these exchanges of various currencies occur. Various factors in the economy such as changes in supply, demand, and people's tastes and preferences can cause the value of a currency to appreciate or depreciate in comparison to another.

Say the United States consumes about 12 billion bushels of domestically produced corn annually. If there is a drought, and 1/3 of the crop is lost, the United States will have to increase corn imports. To buy corn imports the USD will need to be exchanged for the foreign currency to pay foreign suppliers. The value of the USD will depreciate because of the increased supply of USD in the forex market.

An exchange rate is considered higher when there is a big difference between the values of the two currencies being compared. The exchange rate of the USD and the Mexican Peso is 1USD to 19.92MXN. This is high because 1 USD gets you many MXN but 1 MXN does not get you very many USDs.

The exchange rate is lower when two currencies are closer in value. The exchange rate between the USD and the Euro is 1 Euro to 1.06USD which is a small difference when compared to the difference between the UDS and MXN.

The exchange rate is the price or value of one currency in relation to another.

To learn more about the exchange rate, click over to our explanation - Exchange Rates

Examples of Currency Appreciation and Depreciation

An example of currency appreciation is when the increased value of the domestic currency, increases purchasing power in foreign markets. Let's say the USD is the domestic currency, and the United Kingdom (GBP) will be the foreign market. When a currency appreciates, the currency it is being compared to depreciates. So foreign, UK goods appear cheaper when the USD appreciates because the domestic currency, the USD, will be able to purchase more foreign currency, GBP, and therefore more foreign goods, assuming that foreign prices remained the same.

Imagine currently 1 USD is worth 0.65 GBP. With 1 USD, you can purchase only 65 pence of a GBP. Over the next 5 years the Federal Reserve decides to increase interest rates to combat rising inflation, lowering the overall money supply. This helps keep inflation low, which increases the value of the USD, and improves its purchasing power.

Now, 5 years later, the exchange rate is 1 USD to 0.94 GBP. Where before you could only purchase 0.65 GBP you can now purchase 0.94 GBP, for the same amount of your USD. The value of USD has increased or appreciated by 44.6% relative to the GBP.

Calculation is as follows:

An example of currency depreciation is when the decreased value of the domestic currency decreases its purchasing power. Currency depreciation makes domestic currency appear cheaper when compared to foreign currencies. Currency depreciation is when the domestic currency decreases in value and the amount of foreign currency it can purchase falls.

Your domestic currency is the GBP. For 1 GBP, you can purchase 1.67 USD worth of foreign currency. Imagine, your country experiences a period of inflation due to a raw material shortage. Inflation erodes the value of your currency, causing it to depreciate. Now, for 1 GBP, you can only purchase 1.07 USD. The GBP depreciated by 35.9%.

Calculation is as follows:

Causes of Appreciation and Depreciation of Currency

An appreciation or depreciation in a currency can be caused by several factors:

  • Interest rate
  • Trade
  • Speculation

Interest rate

Changes in a nation's interest rate can encourage investment by those looking to profit off of a nation's currency. If the government is offering higher interest rates on products such as treasury bills, corporate bonds, or certificates of deposits, then those investors that take a fixed income approach to investment, will want to purchase these products because of the higher investment yield that they offer. This increases the demand for the currency which appreciates its value.

Capital outflow and inflow can each cause currency depreciation and appreciation, respectively.

Capital outflow occurs when large sums of money are flowing out of a nation's economy.

This can happen if domestic interest rates are low, and investors are looking to foreign markets that have higher interest rates to increase their returns. Money is flowing out of the domestic economy, and increasing the supply of the currency in the foreign exchange market. This causes a depreciation in the value of the currency.

Capital inflow occurs when large sums of money flow into the economy.

When domestic interest rates are high relative to foreign ones, investors will want to purchase domestic currency which decreases its supply on the foreign exchange market, resulting in appreciation of the value of the currency.

Trade

The appreciation or depreciation of currency caused by the changes in the interest rate impacts international trade. The changes in the price of the currency affect the number of imports and exports. Aggregate demand in the economy partially depends on imports and exports. If the quantity of exports decreases because of an appreciation of the currency, then there is a loss in capital inflow and aggregate expenditure and therefore aggregate demand must fall. The rest of the aggregate demand is comprised of consumption, investment, and government spending.

Aggregate Demand Formula:

To find out more about aggregate demand check out our explanation - Aggregate Demand

If a nation is running a trade surplus, meaning they export more than they import, there will be more domestic currency demanded as more domestic goods are bought by the foreign buyers. This will cause an appreciation of the currency.

On the other hand, a trade deficit, meaning imports being higher than exports, can cause a depreciation of the currency, because a country is having to buy foreign currency to purchase goods from other countries. This means domestic currency loses its value.

Speculation

Speculation happens when traders in the foreign exchange market buy and sell currencies based on if they think a currency will appreciate or depreciate. It is partially based on emotion and partially on opinions and experience. They form their opinions depending on factors like the political climate, government policies, inflation, and current trends in the market. These speculations can influence the market because as traders invest where they think they will make a profit, others will follow which means that as more and more people buy a currency the more it appreciates. Other currencies will depreciate relative to the currency that has appreciated.

Effect of Currency Appreciation and Depreciation

The effect of currency appreciation and depreciation is felt prominently in international trade. When a currency’s value changes, a country’s imports, and exports can be affected because trading may become either relatively cheaper or more expensive depending on the change in the value of the currency.

Effect of currency appreciation

When a currency appreciates, it will make foreign goods appear relatively cheaper and domestic goods more expensive. When a currency appreciates its purchasing power in the foreign markets increases because the same amount of currency can buy more foreign currency. This will encourage more goods to be imported which is good for the consumer since they will have a more diverse selection of goods due to lower import prices. On the other hand, the number of exports will decrease, which is not good for domestic producers, because domestic goods will appear more expensive in foreign markets. Therefore, when we see an appreciation in the currency, net exports decrease.

When exports decrease, domestic producers are generating less income, as capital outflows increase. This means we will see a decrease in the aggregate demand in the economy.

appreciation and depreciation increase in demand for usd studysmarterFigure 1. Increase in demand for U.S. Dollars - StudySmarter Originals

Figure 1 shows an increase in the demand for U.S. Dollars. This change in demand can be due to a decrease in the interest rates in the European markets. This increase in demand is shown by the shift of the demand curve for U.S. dollars from D1 to D2. This causes the equilibrium quantity demanded of U.S. dollars to increase from Q1 to Q2. Since the supply of U.S. dollars has not changed, the equilibrium number of euros per dollar increases from XR1 to XR2. This indicates an appreciation of the exchange rate and therefore the price of U.S. dollars compared to euros increases.

An appreciated currency can help control inflation because imports become relatively cheaper and these relatively lower prices can help keep inflation low. Lower prices on imports force domestic producers to increase their productive efficiency to keep domestic prices low and competitive with the foreign goods.

Effect of currency depreciation

When a currency depreciates, it will make foreign goods appear relatively more expensive and domestic goods cheaper. The purchasing power of the domestic currency in foreign markets falls too. The benefit of depreciation is that domestic goods now appear cheaper in foreign markets which will encourage an increase in exports. This will promote a trade surplus and thus result in an increase in net exports. An increase in exports means domestic producers are generating more income which will increase capital inflows and encourage domestic producers to increase production to maximize profits. It also increases aggregate demand.

appreciation and depreciation decrease in demand for usd studysmarterFigure 2. Decrease in demand for U.S. Dollars - StudySmarter Originals

Figure 2 shows the effect of a decrease in demand for U.S. Dollars. This decrease in demand could stem from an unstable political climate, for example. The demand curve for U.S. dollars shifts from D1 to D2, which decreases the equilibrium quantity of dollars demanded from Q1 to Q2. The supply of dollars has remained unchanged, so the equilibrium number of euros per dollar falls from XR1 to XR2. This indicates a depreciation of the exchange rate and therefore the price of U.S. dollars compared to euros decreases.

Appreciation and Depreciation Formula

To find out if a currency appreciated or depreciated, and by how much, we need to know the old value of the currency and the new value of the currency. We then need to apply the following formula:

Appreciation calculation

To calculate appreciation, we will use dollars to euros as an example.

Let the initial exchange rate be: $1.25/1€.

Imagine the dollar appreciates to $1.50/1€.

Now we must find out by how much in percentage terms the dollar appreciated.

We will plug our values into the formula for calculating the percentage change in value:

The dollar has appreciated by 20% relative to the euro.

Depreciation calculation

To calculate depreciation, we will use dollars to euros as an example.

Let the initial exchange rate be: $1.74/1€.

Imagine the dollar depreciates to $1.43/1€.

Now we must find out by how much in percentage terms the dollar depreciated.

The dollar has depreciated by 17.8% relative to the euro. Note the negative percentage change that indicates depreciation.

Appreciation and Depreciation - Key takeaways

  • Appreciation is when a currency experiences an increase in value when it is compared to other currencies. Depreciation is when a currency experiences a decrease in value when it is compared to other currencies.
  • The exchange rate is the price or value of one currency in relation to another.
  • When the value of a currency changes, nation's imports and exports can be affected because trading may become either relatively cheaper or more expensive depending on the change in the value of the currency.

Frequently Asked Questions about Appreciation and Depreciation

Appreciation is when a currency experiences an increase in value when it is compared to other currencies.

Depreciation is when a currency experiences a decrease in value when it is compared to other currencies.

Appreciation causes the value of a currency to go up which decreases exports and increases imports. Depreciation causes the value of a currency to go down which increases exports and decreases imports.

An advantage of appreciation is that it makes foreign goods appear cheaper relative to domestic goods and keeps inflation low. An advantage to depreciation is that domestic prices appear cheaper in foreign markets which increases exports and promotes a trade surplus.

Appreciation and depreciation can be caused by changes in the interest rate, trade, and speculation.

Appreciation increases imports and decreases exports because foreign goods appear cheaper. Depreciation decreases imports and increases exports because domestic goods appear cheaper to foreign markets.

Final Appreciation and Depreciation Quiz

Question

What is appreciation of currency?

Show answer

Answer

Appreciation is when a currency experiences an increase in value when it is compared to other currencies.

Show question

Question

What is depreciation of currency?

Show answer

Answer

Depreciation is when a currency experiences a decrease in value when it is compared to other currencies. 

Show question

Question

How does the interest rate affect appreciation?

Show answer

Answer

A higher domestic interest rate can encourage foreign investors to invest in a currency if they think they will be able to earn a higher yield. This will lead to currency appreciation.

Show question

Question

How do the interest rate and appreciation affect trade?

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Answer

An increase in the value of the currency increases the number of imports and decreases the number of exports a nation has.

Show question

Question

How can the value of a currency affect aggregate demand?

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Answer

The value of a currency has an impact on a county's net exports (exports minus imports), which makes up a portion of aggregate demand. If net exports increase due to a depreciation in the currency, then the country sees an increase in aggregate demand because they have more expendable income.

Show question

Question

How does depreciation impact trade?

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Answer

Depreciation increases exports and decreases imports.

Show question

Question

Why does depreciation increase exports?

Show answer

Answer

Depreciation increases exports because it makes domestic goods appear cheaper to foreign markets.

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Question

Why does appreciation decrease exports? 

Show answer

Answer

Appreciation decreases exports because domestic goods appear more expensive in foreign markets.

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Question

What is the formula for calculating appreciation and depreciation?

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Answer

(New value of currency - Old value of currency) / Old value of currency

Show question

Question

Consider the following exchange rate: £0.78/1€. 

Then, imagine the pound appreciates to £1.02/1€. 

Has the euro appreciated or depreciated against the pound? 

By how much?

Show answer

Answer

Appreciated by 31%

Show question

Question

Consider the following scenario: 

The exchange rate from dollars to euros went from €0.82/$1 to €0.73/$1. 

Did the dollar appreciate or depreciate against the euro? 

By how much?

Show answer

Answer

Depreciated, by 11%

Show question

Question

What determines a currency's value?

Show answer

Answer

A currency’s value is determined by the market's demand and supply for the currency just like any other good or service.

Show question

Question

What is the exchange rate?

Show answer

Answer

The exchange rate is the price or value of one currency in relation to another. 

Show question

Question

How does speculation impact the value of a currency?

Show answer

Answer

Speculation can influence the value of a currency because as traders invest where they think they will make a profit, others will follow. This means that as more and more traders invest in a currency, the more it appreciates. 

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Question

What is speculation?

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Answer

Speculation is when traders in the foreign exchange market buy and sell currencies based on if they think a currency will appreciate or depreciate.

Show question

Question

The exchange rate between Joville and Samston was 1Jo per 1.2Sa. Now it is 1Jo per 1.4Sa. Did the currency depreciate or appreciate? By how much?

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Answer

0.4

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Question

The exchange rate between USD and GBP was 1GBP to 1.2USD. The USD depreciated by 15%, what is the new exchange rate?

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Answer

1GBP per 1.38USD

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Question

The exchange rate between USD and GBP was 1GBP to 1.2USD. The USD appreciated by 12%, what is the new exchange rate?

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Answer

1GBP per 1.06USD

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Question

1 unit of Currency A can buy you 17 units of Currency B? 1 week later, Currency A can only buy you 12 units of Currency B. What happened to Currency A? How big was the change?

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Answer

Currency A depreciated. It fell by 29%.

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Question

1 unit of Currency A can buy you 17 units of Currency B? 1 week later, Currency A can buy you 23 units of Currency B. What happened to Currency B? How big was the change?

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Answer

Currency B depreciated. It fell by 35%.

Show question

Question

What can occur when domestic interest rates are low, and investors are looking to foreign markets that have higher interest rates?

Show answer

Answer

Capital outflows.

Show question

Question

What does each section of the aggregate demand equation stand for?

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Answer

C is consumer spending

I is investment

G is government spending

X is exports

M is imports

Show question

Question

When there is a decrease in capital inflow what does this mean for aggregate demand?

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Answer

Aggregate demand must decrease. 

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Question

If your country wants to buy more foreign products, would that be good for your domestic currency?

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Answer

No, because it would cause it to lose value.

Show question

Question

If you are not trading with other countries, does an appreciation of your currency have an effect on your spending?

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Answer

You might see prices decrease a bit but the value of a currency is mainly felt on the international market.

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Question

What determines a currency's value?

Show answer

Answer

The market's demand and supply for the currency.

Show question

Question

Only supply and demand can affect a currency's value.

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Answer

False, people's tastes and preferences, as well as the political climate, can affect the value.

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Question

What is meant by the money supply?

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Answer

The amount of money that is available to be used in the market.

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Question

Where do people go to exchange their currency? 

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Answer

They go to the foreign exchange market. 

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Question

When one currency appreciates, what happens to the other?

Show answer

Answer

It depreciates.

Show question

Question

If the exchange rate goes from 22 pesos per 1 USD, to 18 pesos per 1 USD, which currency appreciated?

Show answer

Answer

The peso.

Show question

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