Managed floating exchange rate

A managed floating exchange rate refers to a currency exchange rate that is allowed to fluctuate according to market forces, but is also influenced or managed by central banks through intervention to achieve specific economic objectives.
Updated: Jun 24, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • Market-driven fluctuations: Managed floating exchange rates fluctuate based on supply and demand in foreign exchange markets.
  • Central bank intervention: Authorities may intervene to stabilize or influence exchange rates to support economic stability.
  • Policy flexibility: Allows adjustments in response to economic conditions while maintaining some level of control over exchange rate movements.

What is a managed floating exchange rate?

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A managed floating exchange rate system allows a currency’s value to fluctuate freely in response to market forces, while central banks may intervene occasionally to influence or stabilize its value.

Importance of managed floating exchange rate

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  • Balance of trade: Facilitates adjustments in exchange rates to maintain competitiveness in international trade.
  • Inflation control: Helps manage imported inflation by adjusting currency values in response to economic conditions.
  • Flexibility: Provides flexibility for monetary authorities to respond to external shocks and economic fluctuations.

How managed floating exchange rate works

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  • Market determination: Exchange rates are primarily determined by market supply and demand dynamics.
  • Central bank interventions: Interventions occur to prevent excessive volatility or align exchange rates with economic objectives.
  • Policy adjustments: Monetary authorities use interest rates, currency interventions, and capital controls to manage exchange rate movements.

Examples of managed floating exchange rate

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  • United States: The Federal Reserve allows the U.S. dollar to float freely against other major currencies but may intervene to stabilize extreme fluctuations.
  • Australia: The Reserve Bank of Australia employs a managed floating exchange rate regime, intervening to manage volatility and support economic stability.
  • United Kingdom: The Bank of England manages the British pound through occasional interventions to maintain stability and mitigate economic risks.

Real world application

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  • Economic stability: Promotes stable exchange rates to facilitate international trade and investment flows.
  • Monetary policy effectiveness: Aligns exchange rate movements with inflation targeting and economic growth objectives.
  • Market confidence: Provides transparency and predictability, enhancing investor confidence and reducing currency risk.

Managed floating exchange rates strike a balance between market-driven fluctuations and central bank interventions, enabling economies to adjust to global market conditions while maintaining stability and supporting economic goals.

Sources & references
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James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.