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January 29th 2007

Relative EU exchange rates diverge

One technique for estimating the relative value of the Euro is to aggregate the value of all of the constituent EU currencies, using relative price movements as proxies for currencies. In Spain and Italy, for example, wages have skyrocketed over the past five years while productivity has lagged, which means these countries are relatively more expensive now. Germany, on the other hand, has been the economic leader of the EU, having benefited from declining real wages and surging productivity. When viewed as a sum of its parts rather than as a whole, Europe is plagued by many of the same economic problems that beset America, such as a negative balance of trade. A weighted average of European prices reveals a picture of what the Euro should be worth. Based on these three countries, it looks like the Euro is between fairly valued and overvalued. The Economist reports:

Spain now has the second-largest current-account deficit in the world in dollar terms. Germany’s resurgence has set a challenge for the euro zone’s southern members. Without the option of devaluation, their medium-term outlook looks less than rosy.

Read More: Beggar thy neighbor

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Economic Indicators, Euro | No Comments »

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