The US dollar will struggle to remain the top international currency in the coming decades as the rising power of Asian economies is set to undermine its leading position, Wall Street bank JPMorgan Chase has predicted.
“The US dollar has been the world’s dominant reserve currency for almost a century,” the bank’s strategist Craig Cohen wrote in a report earlier this month.
However, we believe the dollar could lose its status as the world’s dominant currency…due to structural reasons as well as cyclical impediments.
Many other currencies came to their demise throughout history, thanks to shifts in global economic centers, which is now poised to move towards Asia, the strategist points out. While China’s accession to global superpower status is believed to be one of the factors of this shift, it’s not the only one.
The Asian economic zone as a whole (from the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey in the West to Japan and New Zealand in the East, and from Russia in the North and Australia in the South) accounts for two-thirds of global economic growth and 50 percent of global GDP. The growing purchasing power of the region will boost the number of non-dollar transactions, eroding the greenback’s reserve currency status and setting the grounds for its replacement as the dominant international currency, according to the bank.
“In other words, in the coming decades we think the world economy will transition from the US and US dollar dominance toward a system where Asia wields greater power,” JP Morgan concludes.
The only advice here, according to the bank, is to get rid of US dollar ‘overweights’ in investment portfolios and to diversify. While some banks are dumping the dollar in favor of the euro, others prefer a more stable source of value, gold.
As the looming shift is already being felt by some, the demand for the precious yellow metal was at its highest in almost half a century in 2018. Russia and China are leading the gold rush, having added 16 and seven tons respectively to their central bank holdings in May. Both Moscow and Beijing boosted their bullion reserves by more than 70 tons in the first five months of this year.
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