exchange rate


exchange rate
the ratio at which a unit of the currency of one country can be exchanged for that of another country. Also called rate of exchange.
[1895-1900]

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Price of one country's money in relation to another's.

Exchange rates may be fixed or flexible. An exchange rate is fixed when two countries agree to maintain a fixed rate through the use of monetary policy. Historically, the most famous fixed exchange-rate system was the gold standard; in the late 1850s, one ounce of gold was defined as being worth 20 U.S dollars and 4 pounds sterling, resulting in an exchange rate of 5 dollars per pound. An exchange rate is flexible, or "floating," when two countries agree to let international market forces determine the rate through supply and demand. The rate will fluctuate with a country's exports and imports. Most world trade currently takes place with flexible exchange rates that fluctuate within relatively fixed limits. See also exchange control, foreign exchange.

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      the price of a country's money in relation to another country's money. An exchange rate is “fixed” when countries use gold or another agreed-upon standard, and each currency is worth a specific measure of the metal or other standard. An exchange rate is “floating” when supply and demand or speculation sets exchange rates (conversion units). If a country imports large quantities of goods, the demand will push up the exchange rate for that country, making the imported goods more expensive to buyers in that country. As the goods become more expensive, demand drops, and that country's money becomes cheaper in relation to other countries' money. Then the country's goods become cheaper to buyers abroad, demand rises, and exports from the country increase.

      World trade now depends on a managed floating exchange system. Governments act to stabilize their countries' exchange rates by limiting imports, stimulating exports, or devaluing currencies.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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