Where the Trump news cycle IS hitting your wallet:

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Where the Trump news cycle IS hitting your wallet:

Bottom Line: The value of the US Dollar was strong and gained strength following the Presidential election in November. The US Dollar Index, which is the value of the US Dollar compared to a basket of leading world currencies, hit a peak of $103.82 in the wake of the Presidential election outcome. For reference, the low was $71 during the Great Recession. The value of the US dollar matters every time you fill up your gas tank or go to the grocery store. The value of the US dollar is the first, and most important factor, impacting all commodity prices. If that doesn't make sense to you try figuring out how many pesos you'd have to pony up to buy the same stuff. Anyway, the strength of the US Dollar has been under attack almost in lock step with the attacks on President Trump of late. It's pretty simple. The dollar gained strength on the idea of a stronger US economy under President Trump. As Trump's agenda looks more imperiled behind the litney of partisan/media attacks on his  administration - it's been tracking lower. Right now the dollar index is at $98.21. That means that the dollar in your wallet is worth about 5.4% less than it was on the world stage just a few months ago.

There are a few potential advantages to the dollar having weakened. It could lead to increased foreign tourism with a better exchange rate for foreigners. It can also improve corporate profits for American mutli-national companies selling goods overseas. But the inverse is also true. It's becoming more expensive for you to travel internationally and you're paying a bit more for many commodities, like gas, as a result of the weakness of the dollar. You can tune out much of the noise in the news cycle if you'd like but the one place it is finding you is in your wallet right now. If the Trump administration can power past the noise and begin to pass his economic agenda after all - it's likely you'd see the dollar start to gain strength again. For now it's wise to pay close attention to the value of the dollar if you're paying and planning for foreign travel. We're seeing much more volatility than usual and that can work to your advantage or disadvantage based on the timing of your travel and where you're going.

Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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