“There was a frenzy of speculation about Chinese currency devaluation earlier this year after a series of surrise moves that weakened the yuan (also called the renminbi) against the dollar. For all the discussion, the yuan has fallen by only about 3% in value against the dollar in 2015.
McKinsey estimated that Chinese debt has quadrupled since 2007 and its debt to GDP ratio has risen above that of the US. The question is, given the semi USD/RMB peg and China’s increasing open capital account (which come at the expense of China’s monetary independence), whether China can live with higher US interest rates and a higher US dollar. A weaker currency generally would boost China’s export potential and might help to prop up its flagging growth figures.
The yuan has actually strengthened in general over the past decade. It is still up by about 6.5% against the greenback since the middle of 2010 and up by 22.8% in the past 10 years, since the currency was unpegged from the dollar in 2005.
But before that period of pegging, you can see how massively the currency was devalued over a 15-year period, rising from less than two to the dollar in the early 1980s to over eight to the dollar by 1994“.
by Mike Bird from Business Insider.
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