Stronger dollar elsewhere gives hope to tourism operators here

Expats, tourism operators and exporters are hoping that the strengthening U.S. dollar will have an effect on exchange rates in Costa Rica.

In the Americas only Costa Rica, Guatemala  and Bolivia have shown stronger local currencies against the dollar this year. Costa Rica’s colon is reported to be up 1.8 percent against the dollar. Bolivia is up 1.2 per cent, and Guatemala is up 0.07 percent, according to tables of data compiled by The Wall Street Journal.

The dollar advanced 9.2 percent in Colombia, and 9.9 percent in Brazil.

The local market for the dollar continues to be frozen with one U.S. dollar bringing 493.5 colons and 504 colons needed to buy a dollar at local banks.

Publicly traded companies in the United States are showing lower net income for the year due to the stronger dollar in places overseas where they sell their goods.

The exchange market for the dollar in Costa Rica is thin, and companies receiving dollars in sales must exchange them.

Expats on fixed incomes have been complaining since the dollar plummeted from about 570 to the colon to the current level. So have the tourism operators who generally receive money in dollars and must make payments locally in colons.

Improvements in the U.S. economy have been cited as a reason for the strengthening of the dollar. In addition, congressional politics have put a lid on federal government spending.

Tourism operators like a strong dollar because foreigners find prices here cheaper. The U.S. government likes a weak dollar to stimulate foreign sales.

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