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Published by source: 01 October 2015
Recent exchange rate movements have been unusually large, triggering a debate regarding their likely effects on trade. Historical experience in advanced and emerging market and developing economies suggests that exchange rate movements typically have sizable effects on export and import volumes. A 10 percent real effective depreciation in an economy’s currency is associated with a rise in real net exports of, on average, 1.5 percent of GDP, with substantial cross-country variation around this average. Although these effects fully materialize over a number of years, much of the adjustment occurs in the first year. The boost to exports associated with currency depreciation is found to be largest in countries with initial economic slack and with domestic financial systems that are operating normally. Some evidence suggests that the rise of global value chains has weakened the relationship between exchange rates and trade in intermediate products used as inputs into other economies’ exports. However, the bulk of global trade still consists of conventional trade, and there is little evidence of a general trend toward disconnect between exchange rates and total exports and imports.