10 March 2008

Economics

A few times per month we check the currency exchange rate between US dollars and Swiss Francs.

This past weekend we noticed it is virtually the same: 1 USD equals 1.002 CHF. WHen we first moved here a dollar was about .80 CHF.

Other notable exchange rates:
  • 1 USD = .65 Euro
  • 1 USD = .49 GBP
The dollar is definitely tanking. It has been for a while, but this is a major drop.

It means that it makes even more sense to purchase things in the United States and either bring them back from a trip, or pay for international shipping rates and possibly a customs fee. There will definitely be shopping during our trip in April.

It also means that we are very, very thankful that we are nowhere near retirement because our investments, predominantly in the United States, are also swirling the toilet bowl. We have time for them to recover before we will need them.

And, of course, it further means that GLH is already rubbing his hands together in anticipation our of trip to Las Vegas!

So, my fellow Americans, I strongly recommend you look elsewhere for your vacations for a while. A trip to Europe will be even more expensive. Not that it was cheap to start. (Note to family and friends: you can still visit us. Our weekly rates are very cheap! You just have to bring us peanut butter or cold medicine or something.)

And to Europeans, now is the time to plan that trip to the US you keep meaning to do!

10 comments:

Greg said...

The first time I visited Switzerland (in 2002) the exchange rate was 1chf=.60usd. Back then the restaurants seemed reasonably priced.

Make sure you hold out for the good Adams peanut butter that you have to stir!

The Big Finn said...

The Swiss franc was worth 57¢ when we moved to Switzerland in 2000. The best thing for us to purchase from the U.S. right now with our Swiss francs is...U.S. dollars!

cheap, Cheap, CHEEEEEEEEEAP!

A Librarian said...

Thank goodness your rates are reasonable. I even have access to a Costco card so I can bring the jumbo jars of peanut butter.:)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, well make it Skippy. That Adams health-peanut butter is for the birds!!!

Greg said...

Skippy isn't so hard to find over here, if you know where to look. I've seen it in Geant in France, and I think also in Familia in Germany.

Expat Traveler said...

It's funny that you guys calculate the franc like that as I did it the opposite and still do.. In 2002 it was worth 1.77 USD and I agreed with Greg, thought things were relatively inexpensive..

Now get going promoting North American tourism too! Vancouver for the Olympics might be really hot... lol... Candian dollar is worth more than the USD this morning.

Lynda said...

Yes, we expats that used to do the happy dance because we were paid in US dollars are crying at the moment - particularly because we recently just switched to a US owned company and used to be paid in Euros.... sniff sniff - it will be a lean Easter in Germany this year.

Kirk said...

When we were in New York last month, based on the number of foreign languages we heard and the number of shopping bags being carried, it was apparent that Midtown Manhattan was overrun with Europeans gleefully taking advantage of the cheap dollar...

Global Librarian said...

Let's get one thing straight right here and now, alright.

I have never, nor will I ever, eat Skippy Peanut Butter. Only the REAL peanut butter, made with peanuts and a bit of salt without all the extra fat and sugar is acceptable to me.

And yes, Europeans are definitely taking advantage of this situation. I know a couple of Swiss who are going to Minneapolis for a conference later this year. Imagine their glee when I explained to them that Minneapolis (well, nearby Bloomington anyway) is the home to the largest shopping mall in the US. And that Minnesota doesn't charge sales tax on clothing.

Their joy was palpable. They are taking empty suitcases.

Expat Traveler said...

lol - empty suitcases would mean I'd be walking around in the same old clothes if I tried that...