Australia’s Recent BOP and $AUD relationship
Analysing Australia’s recent economic history it is evident that the trends in Australia’s BOP are significantly impacted by fluctuations in the exchange rate.
From the graphs above, we can highlight the following trends:
The J curve demonstrates the effects of a depreciation of the exchange rate on the Current Account position. Furthery, the J curve conveys the relationship between a relatively low $AUD and an improved Current Account position. Specifically the J Curve and the, later discussed , Reverse J-Curve focus on the BOGS account of the CAD.
Movements in the exchange rate have a significant impact on the Balance of payments because it affects the international competitiveness of Australia’s exports and the relative price of goods and services Australia imports. A depreciation of the $AUD decreases the foreign currency price of Australia’s exports, thus increasing the international competitiveness of the exports. It also increases the Australian dollar price of imports and discourages consumers from purchasing imports, in turn improving the BOGS account. Comparatively, an appreciation of the $AUD worsens Australia’s international competitiveness, decreasing the demand for Australia’s exports and increasing import expenditure as consumers switch to imported substitutes, in turn worsening the BOGS account.
The trough in the CAD following a currency depreciation can be quite confusing for a lot of students who might otherwise assume a depreciation immediately improves the country’s international competitiveness which in turn should improve the BOGS account and as such the CAD account. While this is true in the long term, due to a number of fixed short term factors the opposite is true, “things get worse before they get better” and the BOGS and CAD worsen. For the most, this initial trough can be explained by fixed supply and demand contracts with the eventual improvement indicating the effect of price elasticity. Due to the nature of business and manufacturing, firms and manufactures agree upon contracts in advance often > 12 months. As such when the currency depreciations, Australian firms and individuals have to pay higher prices for imported intermediate production inputs and imported goods. In the short-term firms have to accept this cost, but as time goes on and flexibility for international consumers increases foreign importers seeking the lowest prices will increase their demand for Australian exports as the lower $AUD, improves Australia’s international competitiveness , making it relatively cheaper for foreign importers to buy Australian Goods contributing to the eventual improvement in the Current account position, seen above.
The Reverse J curve is an inverted J curve, demonstrating the effect of an appreciation of the exchange rate on the Current Account position. Further, the Reverse J curve conveys the relationship between a relatively high $AUD and a weakened Current Account position
Similarly to a depreciation, due to a number of fixed short term factors, somewhat counter intuitively, in the short term an appreciation of the currency improves the BOGS and CAD. Likewise due to fixed manufacturing and supply contracts when the currency appreciates, Australian firms and individuals pay lower prices for imported intermediate production inputs and imported goods, reducing production costs. At the same time, firms generally don’t experience reduced export volumes for some time until the price elasticity of consumers generally kick in, reducing Australia's export volumes because of weakened international competitiveness, contributing to the eventual deterioration in the current account position, seen below.