The difference between the nominal and real exchange rates is that the former does not take the price level into account and the latter does.
To see the difference between the nominal and real exchange rates, let’s see the definition of each one:
- Nominal exchange rate: The nominal exchange rate is the price of one currency against another in financial markets.
- Real exchange rate: The real exchange rate is the purchasing power of our currency abroad.
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Difference between nominal and real
To see the difference between the nominal and real exchange rates , we are going to see how to move from one magnitude to another. In addition, we will explain it with examples.
Go from nominal exchange rate to real exchange rate
To go from the nominal exchange rate to the real exchange rate , we just have to apply the following formula:
Where each unknown means:
TCR: It is the real exchange rate.
TCN: It is the nominal exchange rate.
Pe: Price level in the foreign country.
Pn: Price level in the national country.
Example of nominal exchange rate to real exchange rate
We have a nominal exchange rate of 30 pesos per dollar. The price index in the foreign country is $ 300. In the national country the price index is 6000 pesos.
To buy in a foreign country what is bought there with a dollar, we need 1.5 times more pesos. If in the foreign country the price of coffee is one dollar and we have pesos, we will have to pay 1.5 times more than the equivalent in pesos. That is, 45 pesos. Or in other words, to obtain 2 cups of coffee in country A, we will have to offer 3 national cups of coffee.
Go from real exchange rate to nominal exchange rate
We go with the opposite operation. Now our objective is, from the real exchange rate , to obtain the nominal exchange rate . Mathematically it is a very simple process. All we have to do is solve the equation. Next we have the mathematical development:
Example of real exchange rate at nominal exchange rate
To illustrate it more easily, let’s continue with the previous example. We have a real exchange rate (RER) of 1.5, foreign prices (Pe) are 300 dollars and national prices (Pn) are 6000 pesos.
How can we observe, if we take the same data, the nominal exchange rate (NER) is the same. All we have done is clear the unknowns.
With these two examples, we hope that the difference between the nominal and real exchange rates has become clear.