Talking Up the Dollar


This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

But on Tuesday, President Bush said in Slovenia that the "relative value of economies will end up setting the proper valuation of the dollar."

A weaker dollar helps American exporters. But it means Americans have to pay more for imports and for travel to other countries.

Some experts say dollar weakness is the main reason why oil prices have risen so high. Oil is priced in dollars on the world market.

But Treasury Secretary Paulson dismissed any link. He noted that since two thousand two, the dollar has fallen about twenty-four percent. But the price of oil has gone up well over five hundred percent.

Adding to pressure on the dollar, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet suggested that the E.C.B will raise interest rates next month. European officials are increasingly concerned with inflation. But investors can already get higher rates of return on investments in euros than in dollars.

High prices for oil, food and other products have raised inflation concerns worldwide. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the latest increases in energy prices have added to inflation risks.

His comments in recent days have suggested that the central bank could stop cutting rates as it has since September. Its rate for overnight loans between banks is currently at two percent. Some market watchers think the Fed could raise rates as early as this month.

Finance ministers from nations in the Group of Eight will discuss the dollar and other issues at their meeting this weekend in Osaka, Japan.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Bob Doughty.