Trends

Exchange rates

All study results are sensitive to exchange rates. The exchange rates used in this edition of Competitive Alternatives are as follows. With the surge in value of the US dollar in 2015, all currencies have declined in value relative to the US dollar. The UK pound is the only study currency to come close to holding its value relative to the US dollar.

Exchange rates1
  2014 20162 % change3
Australian $AU $1.08AU $1.39-22.3%
Canadian $CA $1.05CA $1.34-21.6%
Euro €€0.73€0.91-19.8%
Japanese ¥¥100.43¥121.44-17.3%
Mexican pesoMX $13.02MX $16.76-22.3%
UK ££0.62£0.66-6.1%
1  Per US$.
2  Average exchange rates for October-December 2015.
3  Two-year depreciation relative to US$.

Business costs

The table below tracks the change in business costs over the last two years. All countries except the US have seen strong improvements in their business cost index, which is expressed in US dollar terms. Australia, Italy and Germany have experienced the greatest gains.

Business cost index1
  2014 2016 Change2
Australia99.389.4-9.9
Italy98.889.3-9.5
Germany100.992.3-8.6
Canada92.885.4-7.4
France97.490.5-6.9
Netherlands94.587.7-6.8
Japan99.292.7-6.5
Mexico81.377.5-3.8
United Kingdom94.690.9-3.7
United States100.0100.0
1  Cost index is in percentage terms, with US=100.0.
2  Decrease in cost index represents a gain in competitiveness (decrease in relative business costs) since 2014.
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