It may be a good time to plan that European vacation. The long-weak dollar is gaining strength again, which means you may be able to afford good food, good wine and a quality hotel if you visit the Old World.
During the Fed Reign of the past five-plus years, the dollar was like that elderly lady in the commercials who says, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” Other countries tried to help by weakening their currencies, of course, but the resulting currency wars appear to have ended along with quantitative easing and now the dollar is strong and getting stronger.
The good news is that the strengthening dollar will make foreign goods cheaper for American consumers (so much for boosting inflation). American companies may also reduce prices or keep them from rising to remain competitive.
As a result, Americans will spend less on essentials like oil and will have more money left to spend on other things, which should boost the economy. A strong dollar will also attract foreign investors to American assets, such as U.S. Treasury bonds.
The bad news is that consumer spending on imports will increase the trade deficit – in fact, it already has. American companies that rely on exports or that have multi-national locations will be hurt.