Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Yen - USD Exchange Rate

When I first moved to Japan, about 14 months ago, the exchange rate was around 100 yen = $1.28 USD.  It stayed in the range of 100 yen to $1.20 to $1.30 until about three months ago (November 2012). Now the exchange rate is about 100 yen to $1.07 or so. I don’t understand how the exchange rate is set or who or what controls this. Both the US and Japan have held elections in recent months, maybe that has something to do with the big change.  I’ve also read that the weaker yen is helping the Japanese economy, which sounds kind of strange at first.  If I’m from the US and want to go on an international vacation, I’m getting more for my buck when the rate is 100 yen to $1.07 than when it is $1.30, so a Japanese vacation is more attractive.  It works the same way with importing products from Japan to the US.  Now, if I’m working in Japan and have a few extra yennies that I want to send back to my bank account in the US, I’m getting fewer dollars than I used to so it’s not so good for me.

 I’ve made some progress on Miss Kitty’s Dragons.


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