E.U. concerned over weak dollar

Kyle James Oct 8, 2007


Scott Jagow: It’s getting more expensive for Americans to buy French wine . . . and Italian clothes . . . and German cars. Why? The dollar. It just keeps losing value.

The European Union is very concerned about this. When the dollar is weak and euro too strong, European companies take a hit. Today, the E.U.’s finance ministers got together for a two-day summit. Kyle James reports from Berlin.

Kyle James: Sure, E.U. finance ministers want a robust euro. But these days, they’re worried the exchange rate with the dollar has gotten out of hand.

That’ll be a key topic as E.U. ministers meet before a G7 sit-down in Washington later this month. The euro has recently hit record highs against the dollar, and European exporters are starting to complain, since it makes their goods more expensive abroad.

Analyst Katinka Barysch says there are fears that the dollar-euro discrepancy could derail Europe’s economic upswing.

Katinka Barysch: We want to enjoy that party a little bit longer. Now,it looks like if we get a stronger and stronger currency, our economies will less competitive, and that upswing that we’ve only just started to enjoy will be choked off again.

Europeans are beginning to feel they’re the victims of economic events they can’t control. They’re nervously eyeing the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis, high American debt levels, and China’s trade surplus.

In Berlin, I’m Kyle James for Marketplace.

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