How the Euro Stands Up to Other Currencies

Since its introduction in 1999, the euro has become one of the major reserve currencies, along with the dollar, the Japanese yen, the pound sterling, and the Swiss franc.

The figures indicate the annual changes in major currencies with respect to the euro. These figures show that, between 1999 and late 2000, the euro depreciated against most major currencies. But this trend was reversed afterward, and the euro appreciated until 2008 against most major currencies. The appreciation of the euro during this period was especially strong against the U.S. dollar and the yen.

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Data available at www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/index.en.html. Annual averages are calculated from daily data. USD, GBP, CHF, and AUD represent the U.S. dollar, British pound sterling, Swiss franc, and Australian dollar, respectively.

The depreciation of the euro started in 2008 with the global financial crisis and, most important, with the European sovereign debt crisis that seemed to be worsened by the global financial crisis. The Australian dollar, the Swiss franc, and the yen appreciated substantially against the euro. This trend continued as the Greek debt and the problems of the Spanish banking sector made headlines in summer 2012.

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Data available at www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/index.en.html. Annual averages are calculated from daily data.

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