The American dollar fell again today. It is now under six Swedish crowns for the first time in as long as I can remember. In fact I remember the good old days when a US dollar could buy a solid 11 Swedish kronor. The American discount. It was a beautiful thing. Now Europeans are enjoying the European discount. And I am confused.
I am confused because I am making European money. I am earning SEKs here in Sweden. Not many. But still. And according to the passport I have been traveling on I am European. But I feel very American. So much so that I am constantly checking the exchange rate. And doing conversions in my head. Despite not earning, nor spending, American money.
The dropping value of the dollar has lead to a decrease in European travel for Americans. In fact, Paris, the city which seems to give some sort of indicator as to how travel happy Americans are, has seen a significant drop in American tourists. About 6% last year, and over 10% this year. Which is solid.
Depending on your point of view, the dropping dollar is good. Europeans are heading to the US in droves. JaCal wrote a post about this that kind of blew my mind. A few pretty normal purchases, jeans, an iPod, and a digital camera will basically make up for the cost of the plane ticket. Which demonstrates two very important things. The dollar has really fallen. And Swedish stuff is ridiculously expensive.
The interesting thing is how this will impact the American economy. Tourism can bring in a lot of money. And a bunch of Europeans flocking to New York to buy iPods, digital cameras, and Levi’s can have a very positive impact. Granted not enough to stop the continued turbulence, but still. Money coming in from other countries is always nice. Of course the falling dollar also suggests some economic problems in the US and generally unstable currencies can be a sign of inflation.
Of course, a stable US dollar is much better for Americans but let’s look at the positive here. And by positive I mean purely selfish. I’m not earning or spending dollars anymore, and when I go home or buy things online in the US, I am getting the European discount.
That being said, psychologically, the falling dollar is killing me.