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Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER)


The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is a measure used to assess a country’s currency value relative to a basket of other currencies, taking into account inflation rates. It is an indicator of the average rate at which a nation’s currency exchanges against multiple foreign currencies based on trade volume. REER reflects the competitiveness of a country’s goods and services in the global market and helps determine its trade balance.


The phonetics of the keyword “Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER)” is as follows: Real: /ˈriːəl/Effective: /ɪˈfɛktɪv/Exchange: /ɪksˈtʃeɪndʒ/Rate: /reɪt/REER: /ˈriːər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is a weighted average of a country’s currency relative to an index or basket of other major currencies, adjusted for inflation. This measure helps compare a country’s currency performance against its major trading partners’ currencies, capturing changes in competitiveness.
  2. Purpose: REER serves as an indicator to assess a country’s currency’s relative value, competitiveness, and overall economic performance. Policymakers, analysts, and businesses use it to examine current trade and economic conditions, evaluate a currency’s historical performance, and gauge future performance expectations.
  3. Interpretation: A higher REER value implies that a country’s currency is overvalued, indicating decreased competitiveness in terms of export pricing, generating trade deficits, and potentially slowing economic growth. Conversely, a lower REER value suggests an undervalued currency, which may lead to increased competitiveness, higher exports, and economic growth.


The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is important because it provides a comprehensive measure of a country’s currency competitiveness relative to its trading partners. By accounting for inflation and considering multiple currencies, REER helps in assessing the trade-weighted value of a currency over time and across different countries. This valuable information enables policymakers, businesses, and investors to make informed decisions about trade, investments, and monetary policies, as well as to detect potential economic imbalances or currency misalignments. In short, REER enables a more accurate understanding of a nation’s economic performance and encourages a well-informed global exchange.


The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) serves as a critical tool within the realm of international economics and finance, providing insight into a nation’s overall competitiveness in the global market. The primary purpose of REER is to capture the relative price levels of a country with respect to its trading partners by taking into account both nominal exchange rates and inflation rates. This allows policymakers, investors, and economists to assess a country’s economic health and its comparative advantage or disadvantage in global trade. By considering a basket of currencies rather than a single bilateral exchange rate, the REER provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of the true exchange rate dynamics, which is essential when evaluating trade policies or investment opportunities. In practice, the REER helps inform a wide range of decisions, including monetary and fiscal policies, trade negotiations, and foreign direct investment strategies. Central banks often rely on REER data to guide their decisions on interest rates and other monetary tools, as it can reveal potential imbalances that might lead to economic instability or deteriorating competitiveness. For businesses and financial institutions, a country’s REER can signal potential risks or opportunities for investment, as it can highlight currency appreciation or depreciation trends and their implications for export-driven industries or debt servicing costs. Overall, the Real Effective Exchange Rate proves to be an indispensable indicator in the pursuit of fostering sustainable economic growth and maintaining a healthy balance of trade in an increasingly interconnected world.


1. China’s Rapid Economic Growth (2000s-2010s): Over the past few decades, China has established itself as a global manufacturing powerhouse. As its economy expanded rapidly, the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) appreciated against other major currencies, leading to a higher Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER). A higher REER indicated that Chinese goods became relatively more expensive for other countries, potentially affecting the competitiveness of Chinese exports. However, it’s important to note that China managed its currency to maintain export competitiveness during this period. 2. Japanese Yen Appreciation and Deflation (Lost Decade, 1991-2000): The REER of the Japanese Yen appreciated significantly following the burst of the asset price bubble in the early 1990s. This higher REER made Japanese goods more expensive in foreign markets and contributed to the decline in exports, leading to a period of economic stagnation and deflation. The Bank of Japan intervened in the currency market multiple times to devalue the Yen and regain export competitiveness, highlighting the importance of REER in influencing macroeconomic policies. 3. Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) Currency Intervention in 2015: In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) pegged the Swiss Franc to the Euro to prevent excessive appreciation of the Swiss currency and maintain export competitiveness. However, in January 2015, the SNB suddenly removed the peg, leading to a sharp rise in the Swiss Franc’s REER, as it appreciated almost 20% against the Euro in a single day. This sudden increase in REER impacted the Swiss economy, as its exports became significantly more expensive to foreign buyers, threatening the competitiveness of Swiss industries.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER)?
The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) is a weighted index that measures the relative value of a country’s currency against a basket of multiple foreign currencies taking into account the adjustments of inflation. The REER is commonly used to assess a country’s exchange rate competitiveness with trading partners.
How is the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) calculated?
The REER is computed by aggregating multiple bilateral nominal exchange rates, adjusted for inflation differences in those countries. The nominal exchange rates are multiplied by weight factors determined by the volume of trade to generate a weighted average.
Why is the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) important?
The REER is crucial as it provides an accurate representation of a country’s currency in relation to its trading partners. This index offers valuable insights for policymakers, businesses, and investors in assessing international competitiveness, determining trade flows, and evaluating investment opportunities.
How does the REER differ from the Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER)?
The primary difference between the REER and NEER lies in the adjustments for inflation. The NEER only takes into account the relative currency values, while the REER accounts for both relative currency values and inflation differences among trading partners, offering a more comprehensive analysis of overall competitiveness.
What are the key factors affecting the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER)?
The major factors affecting the REER include inflation rates, interest rates, economic growth, trade policies, and capital flows. These factors may be influenced by various events such as economic reforms, political developments, and changes in international financial markets.
How do changes in the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) impact exports and imports?
When a country’s REER devalues, its exports become relatively cheaper, encouraging the demand for its products overseas. In contrast, imports become more expensive, potentially reducing the country’s import volume. Conversely, an appreciation in the REER could lead to costlier exports, making them less competitive and reducing the demand. Simultaneously, imports become cheaper, potentially increasing their volume.
Can the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) be used as an indicator for monetary policy decisions?
Yes, the REER may be employed as a crucial indicator for making monetary policy decisions. Central banks may consider the REER’s fluctuations when adjusting interest rates and implementing measures to manage inflation, maintain economic stability, and contain financial market risks.
How can you track the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) for different countries?
Many financial and economic institutions, such as the IMF, the World Bank, and central banks, publish the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) data as part of their regular reports. Additionally, databases such as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) offer comprehensive REER data for various countries.

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