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What is happening with the euro? The European currency breaks new records, continues the drastic fall
Written by SOT.COM.AL 1 Qershor 2023
The fall of the euro is breaking new historical records this week. According to the official exchange rate of the Bank of Albania, the euro was exchanged on Thursday at the new historical minimum of 109.4 ALL.
The European currency has lost 1.2 points or about 1.1% compared to the lek this week alone. On an annual basis, the drop in the exchange rate of the euro against the lek has already reached 9.2%.
Although the strengthening of the lek against the euro is already a stable trend in recent years, the rates of strengthening of the local currency in recent months are quite fast and beyond the forecasts of market agents.
Sources from the financial market say that sales of the euro are very few, while the supply of the European currency continues to be abundant and stable. The sources of the increase in the foreign exchange supply can be mainly identified in the gradual improvement of the balance of payments and in particular the increase in income from tourism.
The sales in significant volumes of the euro have increased the demand for lek and are increasingly overvaluing the local currency, at a time when its supply also has a shrinking tendency, as evidenced by the low growth rates of the monetary aggregate M2.
Exchange rate balances in Albania continue to be determined mainly by foreign currency inflows, while the influence of the fundamental factors that determine the exchange rate in developed economies seems to be weaker.
Currently, the basic interest rate of the euro is significantly higher compared to the lek, and this premise should in theory make the European currency more attractive to investors and affect its appreciation. In fact, such a thing has not happened and the increase in the interest rates of the euro in the Albanian financial market has been followed in a very marginal way, both in deposits and in loans.
A stronger national currency makes imports cheaper and in theory constitutes a barrier to imported inflation. However, such a trend for Albanian consumers is not yet very tangible, also due to the fact that inflationary pressures are increasing from other factors and especially from the labor market.
The fall of the euro, however, has a direct impact on reducing the cost of loans in euros for the majority of Albanian borrowers who have their income in lek. The strengthening of the lek is balancing the increase in interest rates, as a result of the increase in the benchmark index, Euribor.
But the rapid fall of the euro is becoming an increasingly big problem for exporting businesses, with a direct negative effect on their revenue base and profit margins./ Monitor