The dollar’s long decline reached a milestone Thursday when the U.S. currency slipped to its weakest level against the yen in 14 years and reached a 15-month low against a basket of major currencies.
The moves were part of a steady, multiyear decline in the dollar, triggered mainly by concerns about the swelling U.S. debt and, more recently, a belief that interest rates were unlikely to rise in the United States in the foreseeable future.
Many analysts say they believe the U.S. currency has further to fall — a prospect that may be good news for the United States, the world’s largest economy, as a lower dollar makes its exports cheaper. And China, which has effectively aligned the value of its currency, the yuan, against the dollar since mid-2008, could also benefit, as the relative weakness of the yuan to other currencies makes Chinese goods cheaper for shoppers abroad.
But the dollar’s weakness is causing jitters in countries like Japan, whose policy makers and executives worry that exporters will find it even harder to sell their goods and services abroad.