DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Let's talk about currency. The U.S. dollar rallied a bit last week. But it is still down sharply from its peak at the beginning of the year. So is that a good thing or is it kind of troubling? NPR's John Ydstie answers that question.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Currency expert Jens Nordvig says the biggest factor in the dollar's fall is growing doubts that the Trump administration will be able to put in place its economic growth policies.
JENS NORDVIG: We came into the year with some very elevated expectations. There was a lot of hope that we were going to get a big tax reform. There was a lot of hope that we were going to get fiscal expansion.
YDSTIE: Which was supposed to come from a jump in government spending on infrastructure and consumer spending fueled by tax cuts. That would have led to faster growth and multiple interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Rising U.S. rates would have put upward pressure on the dollar.
NORDVIG: The overarching theme has been that those expectations have been disappointed.
YDSTIE: But positive developments have also contributed to the dollar's decline, says Nordvig.
NORDVIG: If you look at the global picture where you have better growth in Europe, better growth in Canada, for example, those are positive things because there's something better going on in the global economy.
YDSTIE: That's pushed the value of the euro up about 15 percent against the dollar this year. That might make U.S. tourists unhappy, but it helps U.S. exporters whose products are now more competitive. Nordvig says it's also important to remember the dollar has weakened after peaking around New Year's at highs not seen since the 1980s. So the dollar is nowhere near touching new lows. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.
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