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RUPEE DEPRECIATION: BASICS



  Apr 25, 2024

RUPEE DEPRECIATION: BASICS



What is Currency Depreciation?

Currency depreciation refers to the decline in value of one currency relative to another. For instance, if the exchange rate of the Indian rupee against the US dollar increases (meaning it takes more rupees to buy one dollar), the rupee is said to have depreciated.

Why Does Currency Depreciation Happen?

Currency depreciation can occur due to several factors including:

• Economic Fundamentals: Issues like high inflation, increasing government debt, and a large current account deficit can lead to depreciation.

• Geopolitical Instability: Conflicts or political instability can make investors nervous, prompting them to withdraw their investments.

• Differential Interest Rates: If countries like the US offer higher interest rates, investors might move funds there, leading to depreciation of other currencies.

Is Currency Depreciation Good or Bad?

The effects of currency depreciation can be mixed:

Positive Effects:

• Boost to Exports: A weaker currency makes a country’s goods cheaper abroad, potentially increasing exports.
• Attractiveness to Foreign Investors: Investment in business operations may become cheaper for foreign companies.

Negative Effects:

• Costlier Imports: It becomes more expensive to import goods, which can increase domestic inflation.
• Increased Debt Burden: If a country has debt in foreign currencies, depreciation can make it more expensive to repay these debts.

Current Scenario with the Indian Rupee:

Recently, the Indian rupee has seen significant depreciation, reaching a historic low of 83.54 against the US dollar. This depreciation has been influenced by several factors:

• Geopolitical Tensions: Ongoing conflicts such as those involving Iran, Israel, and Ukraine have heightened global uncertainties.
• Economic Decisions in the US: Increases in US interest rates have made the dollar a more attractive investment, pulling capital out of India.
• Economic Indicators: India’s current account deficit and other economic fundamentals have also played a role.

Despite this, India’s situation has some stabilizing factors, such as its large foreign exchange reserves, which allow the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to intervene and prevent further sharp falls in the rupee’s value by selling dollars.

In summary, while the depreciation of the rupee presents challenges, particularly for importers and those with foreign debt, it also offers opportunities to boost exports and attract foreign investment. The RBI’s active role in managing the currency’s value helps mitigate potentially destabilizing fluctuations.
 

SRIRAM's


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