Photo (cc) by GoodNCrazy
The dollar is stronger than it’s ever been this decade, and its added buying power will trickle down to your wallet this year, experts says.
As Bloomberg Business reported today:
“The 24 percent surge in the currency since June will take time to gradually ripple through the world’s largest economy, first showing up in lower costs for goods imported by American companies and then in the prices paid by consumers, according to economists at Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. That means the dollar will be the next check on inflation, replacing oil as fuel costs stabilize.”
The cost of imported goods and services has been dropping for seven months now.
Items that may carry shrinking price tags include clothing, electronics and automobiles, Bloomberg reports: “That will give an added boost to household buying power, which is already benefiting from the lowest gasoline prices in six years and larger job gains.”
So although consumers still aren’t earning more money — America hasn’t had a pay raise in 35 years, a recent study shows — their money should buy them more.
“You can’t expect a better environment for consumers,” Gregory Daco, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics in New York, told Bloomberg. “The stronger dollar is an additional layer of downward pressure on inflation.”
Of course, this good news may also trigger some bad news. Economists speculate that by as early as June, the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates for the first time since 2006.
“The central bank may offer more clues when officials meet next week,” Fortune reports. “If the Fed chooses to raise rates soon, it would easily add between $1 trillion to more than $2 trillion to America’s debt over the next decade, compared to a scenario in which rates remain low.”
And as we reported yesterday, America already has a record amount of credit-card debt.
Are you looking forward to seeing the dollar’s added buying power? Ore are you worried about its possible side effects? Let us know in a comment below or on Facebook.