Recently, Michael and Karl have expressed some surprise and doubt at the claim that the Taiwan dollar has fallen over the past several years. Here are some graphs that should show it quite clearly.

This first graph is based on the Euro, and the TWD is compared to the Korean Won, the US Dollar, the UK Pound, the Canadian Dollar and the Australian Dollar from 2000-2007.
The TWD came in dead last, with the USD barely edging it out.

This second graph is based on the US Dollar, comparing the same currencies over the same period of time.

Once again, the TWD is the clear loser, but what is most striking is how closely it hugs the US dollar graph. This is undoubtedly the result of the Taiwanese government’s unofficial attempts to peg the TWD to the USD. Some have argued that this is part of why consumers here in Taiwan are seeing rising prices.

Now to answer Michael Turton’s question:

Yes, (the TWD has) plummeted from…..28 to the Aus$ all the way to….$30, and that only the other day. In August it hit 25. Clearly there is a great deal of variation. The Korean Won? Well, in May it was 27.7, and on Friday, it was 28.2. Where is the cliff?

The AUD’s outperformance of the TWD is clear from the charts above. Here’s TWD graphed against the KRW:

Yes, there are short-term variations. However, the difference between the long term trends of the TWD and the KRW is stark. The difference is so great, in fact, that it could be argued that that’s the major reason Taiwan has seen less than 1.2% nominal GDP growth per year since the year 2000 while Korea, a very similar economy in many ways, has seen over 8.6% a year.

Update: Since Karl has accused me of “cherry picking” the data, here is ten years of currency data, starting from 1997. Even with the Asian Economic Crisis that decapitated the Korean Dollar, it still beat out the Taiwan Dollar. Furthermore, the Taiwan Dollar lost nearly 20% of its value against the US dollar, and about 40% of its value against the Canadian Dollar and the British Pound. It really would take “cherry picking” to find any long term span in which the Taiwan Dollar has beaten the Korean dollar in recent years.

Related Post: The Weakening of the Taiwan Dollar
Related Post: Economy: Taiwan vs. Korea 2000-2006