EUROZONE: ITS CURRENCY UNDER ASSAULT © Leo Haviland July 9, 2012

The bloody retreat in the Euro currency that began in spring 2011 signaled a slowdown in the worldwide economic recovery that commenced around early 2009. The Euro FX’s mournful slump does not merely reflect Europe’s sovereign debt and banking crisis. In an interconnected international economy, Europe does not fight alone. Thus Euro FX weakness underscores the ongoing global economic disaster that emerged in 2007. The Euro currency’s further breakdown since late winter 2012 warns audiences of growing worldwide economic feebleness. The Euro FX will continue to depreciate.

European policy makers and some other viewers likewise pay attention to measures of the real European effective exchange rate (CPI deflated; first quarter 1999 equals 100; “EER”). This effective exchange rate probably is superior to cross rates (such as the one against the US dollar) as an indicator of Eurozone currency strength/weakness (and the Eurozone crisis). The European Central Bank provides data for the 17 Euro area countries against a group of 20 trading partners.

The EER established its major high in April 2008 at 111.8 (monthly average). The low during the October 2008 to April 2009 period, during which the Euro FX cross against the US dollar touched lows, was November 2008’s 102.8. However, after marching up to 111.2 in October 2009 (thus bordering on the April 2008 pinnacle), the EER started traveling downhill. On an effective exchange rate basis, it made an important bottom in June 2010 at 98.1. Although it retrenched and climbed to an April 2011 height at 103.4, this April elevation only slightly exceeded the November 2008 depth.

Under almost relentless assault, the Euro EER measure has crumbled since April 2011. This sustained bear move thus emphasizes the weakness of the global economic recovery. For June 2012, this real effective exchange rate is about 94.8. This decisively breaks beneath the key floor of June 2010 at 98.1 (the December 2011 level also was 98.1; a 10pc fall form April 2008 is 100.6). The Euro effective exchange rate erosion in very recent months, and particularly the shattering of June 2010 support, reflect both the fearsome Eurozone crisis (and recession in many European nations) and confirm the deteriorating prospects on the international front.

Further significant depreciation of the Euro FX may well turn out to be part of the solution for the Eurozone’s ongoing sovereign debt (banking; economic; debt, leverage; political) crisis.

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Eurozone- Its Currency Under Assault (7-9-12)