real exchange rate
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Real Exchange Rates
The purchasing power of two currencies relative to one another. While two currencies may have a certain exchange rate on the foreign exchange market, this does not mean that goods and services purchased with one currency cost the equivalent amounts in another currency. This is due to different inflation rates with different currencies. Real exchange rates are thus calculated as a nominal exchange rate adjusted for the different rates of inflation between the two currencies. See also: Purchasing power parity.
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real exchange ratethe EXCHANGE RATE of a currency expressed in constant price terms to make allowance for the effects of INFLATION. For example, where a country experiences a higher rate of domestic inflation than its trade competitors, then its exports will become more expensive than those of competitors’ exports and its imports cheaper than domestic products, unless its exchange rate depreciates to offset fully the inflation differential. In situations where exchange rates are fixed by international agreement or determined by market forces that do not reflect relative inflation rates, then nominal exchange rates can differ significantly from real exchange rates. A country's real exchange rate is the more important measure of that country's INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS. See PURCHASING-POWER PARITY THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005