QCOSTARICA – If you are thinking of traveling or making an investment in dollars, it is a good time to buy or save, since, according to the predictions, the U.S. dollar will continue to fall for a few more months and the exchange differential will be earned when it rises.
The 20% drop from January to date in the dollar exchange caused the Central Bank (Banco Central de Costa Rica) to have to acquire 82% of the amount it spent during 2023 to avoid a further drop.
The Central Bank bought US$3.8 million throughout 2022, while since January to date it has already acquired US$3.2 million.
That is why the hypothesis of some productive sectors affected by the dollar is discredited, arguing that the Central Bank has not acted.
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The reality is that the monetary authority has intervened and will continue to buy when it sees it necessary, otherwise, it will let the price of the dollar move according to supply and demand.
Consumers will benefit, as well as debtors and importers who account for their international purchases, with a considerable reduction in prices.
A more stable exchange rate also benefits the cost of living for families, since 85% of the products found in the supermarket will maintain their price, given that many of the products are imported in their entirety or some component.
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“It’s a good time to make a reserve in dollars because when the exchange rate increases you will earn that difference, it’s also good that you have a little money for an emergency,” explained Elizabeth Morales, assistant manager of Coopecaja.
It is expected that the dollar will remain low throughout the coming weeks given that the monetary policy rate will not be changed until the next revision made by the Central Bank in June.
“I believe that the price of the dollar will drop a few colones, but that it will not rise in the short term since the premium of having certificates of deposit is still attractive,” said Daniel Suchar, a financial analyst.
Dollar savings accounts can be opened for very little and are a great option for some. For example, with only US$50 you can open an account at the branches of most banks, both private and State, with the only provision that the deposit amount does not drop that amount without incurring bank charges.
The drop in the price of oil and the attractiveness of interest rates for investors to invest their dollars in Costa Rica, as well as the increase in tourism and the approval of Eurobonds is what has caused the dollar exchange rate to tend to fall, due to the excess supply of dollars.
The price has been falling since January 1. To date, there has been a decrease of ¢28.
This May 18, the dollar exchange reference rate by the Central Bank is ¢535.04 for the buy and ¢541.56 for the sell.
On January 18, the rate was ¢568.10 and ¢572.14 for the sale.
At the banks (state and private), the range is between ¢527 and ¢531 for the buy and ¢545 and ¢548 for the sale. See here the Central Bank’s latest report on the dollar exchange in one place as reported by the banks.