A Message to our Readers on the WCU Website Relaunch 2018

Since our website was officially launched in April 2008 at Lingnan University we have been working to improve the contents.  The latest round of revamp was completed in July 2018.  The first major change is that following the inclusion of the RMB into the SDR by the IMF, we have also expanded the benchmark currency basket to include the RMB, in addition to the USD, Euro, Yen, Pound Sterling, C$, and A$.

The second major change is that the new series that includes the RMB takes 2015 as the base year.  Please note that the currency basket in this series does not include the RMB until the last quarter of 2016.

We have accordingly provided downloads of the new series in our new website.

As before, the World Currency Unit is a unique unit of account that we recommend for use for international transactions. The WCU stands for a unit of global purchasing power. So, conceptually one WCU today represents the same real purchasing power as one WCU ten years ago, providing they share the same base year. Valuation of the Unit is based on a basket of currencies each indexed against its domestic inflation. This basket, to be called a standard or benchmark currency basket, is by design variable: it is defined as standardized currencies weighted by GDP two years ago. The standardization is done by scaling up or down a currency by dividing the entire time series of exchange rates against the US dollar with the exchange rate with the US dollar in the base year. The procedure makes sure that in the base year each standardized currency unit is worth one US dollar. Because the entire series of exchange rates share a common base year, they are comparable even though weights change from year to year. Indexing against domestic inflation is refreshed each month with the most update Consumer Price Indices.

We recommend that international transactions be quoted in the WCU for greater transparency of the real price and for fairness to both buyers and sellers. As well, we recommend that bond issuers consider issuing bonds denominated in the WCU. This again is fair to both borrowers and lenders, and it makes the real yield to purchasers of bonds more transparent.

Transactions based on prices quoted in the WCU can be settled in any currency, as the valuations of the WCU in several major currencies are updated daily on our quotation page. By promoting international transactions quoted in the WCU, we hope that the "supercurrency" status of the US dollar can be history, and with new financial assets denominated in the WCU, we hope that the world's central banks can have new reserve assets whose values are more stable. With access to WCU-denominated financial assets, we hope that savers have a ready-made diversified currency portfolio that will protect them from large swings in exchange rates of single currencies. We also hope that savers can then have an alternative to real estate as a hedge against inflation. We have learnt that rushing into real estate and financial assets could engender asset price bubbles that can be devastating to financial markets and to the real economy.

We believe that promoting the wider use of the WCU will contribute toward a more stable global financial environment.

We apologize to visitors to our website for our extended period of the quotation page being “out of service.” The successful relaunch is made possible by the help of Frasertec Ltd. and support by the IDS grant UGC/IDS13/16.

Lok Sang Ho

Chu Hai College of Higher Education

August 1 2018

 

Wednesday March,20,2019

Currency

Spot Exchange Rate
(USD / unit of currency)

(1)
Normalized Exchange Rate (Column 1 divided by US$ price of currency in base year 2015)
(2)
WCU2015 per unit of currency
(3)
How much a unit of WCU2015 is worth in each currency
(4)

Relative Exchange Rate
(currency relative to Benchmark Basket)

(5)

U.S.dollar
(a)
1.00 1.00 0.9609
1.0407
1.0101
Euro
(b)
1.13479 1.02316 1.0904
0.9171
1.0335
Pound
Sterling
(c)
1.32642 0.86821 1.2745
0.7846
0.8770
Japanese
Yen
(d)
0.00898 1.08679 0.0086
115.9117
1.0978
Canadian $
(e)
0.75262 0.96268 0.7232
1.3828
0.9724
Australian
Dollar$
(f)
0.71022 0.94537 0.6824
1.4653
0.9549
Renminbi
(g)
0.14897 0.93610 0.1431
6.9859
0.9456
Hong
Kong Dollars
(h)
0.12739 0.99079 0.1224
8.1692
1.0008
Swiss
Franc
(i)
1.00021 1.24620 0.9611
1.0405
1.2588
Russia
Rubles
(j)
0.01553 0.43927 0.0149 67.0110 0.44371
Quotation in other currencies          
Standard Currency Basket (2016 GDP-weighted average of Column 2 from a to g)
(k)
  0.989994 0.9513 1.051231 1
Notes:

Column (2) allows us to know if a currency has appreciated or depreciated against the US$ since 2015. A figure greater than 1 means appreciation. 1.25 means 25% appreciation against the US dollar since 2015. 0.75 means 25% depreciation of the currency since 2015.

Column (3) is a measure of the real value of the official currency unit expressed in WCU2015. A figure less than 1 for US dollar means a loss in real purchasing power of the US dollar since 2015. But a figure greater than or less than 1 for other currencies does not tell us if the currency has gained or lost purchasing power, since to do that the figure in Column(3) needs to compare with its equivalent value in 2015. 

Column (4) spells out how much a WCU2015 is worth in terms of the official unit of the currency today. One WCU2015 is worth one US dollar in 2015, indicating a decline in the purchasing power of the US dollar. Column (4) tells us how many units of the currency can buy the same amount of real goods as one US dollar in 2015. 

Column (5) shows how the currency has moved against the standard currency basket since the 2015. Since each currency is standardized(by dividing with the exchange rate in 2015) so that the standardized unit of the currency is worth US$1 in the base year, the benchmark currency basket is also worth US$1 in 2015. Although we change the weights of the currencies in each new year using updated GDP data, 2015 remains the base year in the sense that all standardized currency units are worth US$1 each in the base year. Column 5 is derived by dividing the figures in Column 2(a to g) by the figure in box k2.

Box (k2) tells how much one standard basket of currencies is worth in terms of US dollars. In the base year 2015 it was worth US$1. A figure bigger(smaller) than 1 implies US dollar depreciation(appreciation) since the base year.

A figure of 0.90 in Column (5) implies 10% depreciation against the standard basket since 2015. A figure of 1.10 implies 10% appreciation against the standard basket since 2015.

Box (k3) tells how many WCU2015 one standard basket of currencies is worth. Box (k4) tells how many units of the standard basket of currencies one WCU2015 is worth


Data Sources:
GDP data is downloaded and updated manually on the first business day of each year from: WEBSITE
Consumer Price Index data is downloaded and updated monthly manually in the middle of the month from: WEBSITE
Exchange Rate date is machine-fed into the system as a service provided from XE.com.

   
*Price index information last updated DATE: Mar.15.2019
*Price index information next to be updated DATE: Apr.15.2019
*GDP weights information next to be updated DATE: January 1,2020