Dollar’s Strength Pushes World Economy Deeper Into Slowdown

The soaring dollar is propelling the global economy deeper into a synchronized slowdown by driving up borrowing costs and stoking financial-market volatility -- and there’s little respite on the horizon.

A closely watched gauge of the greenback has risen 7% since January to a two-year high as the Federal Reserve embarks on an aggressive series of interest-rate increases to curb inflation and investors have bought dollars as a haven amid economic uncertainty.

A rising currency should help the Fed cool prices and support American demand for goods from abroad, but it also threatens to drive up the import prices of foreign economies, further fueling their inflation rates, and sap them of capital.

That’s especially worrying for emerging economies, which are being forced to either allow their currencies to weaken, intervene to cushion their slide, or raise their own interest rates in a bid to buttress their foreign exchange levels.

Both India and Malaysia made surprise rate hikes this month. India also entered the market too to prop up its exchange rate.

Advanced economies haven’t been spared either: In the past week the euro hit a new five-year low, the Swiss franc weakened to hit parity with the dollar for first time since 2019 and Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority was forced to intervene to defend its currency peg. The yen also recently toughed a two-decade low.