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Exchange Rate Drops 70% in 20 Years

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – As an example: a well-to-do working class Haitian family earning 20,000 HTG per month in 1995 would have earned $1,142.85 for that month. In 2015, for this same earning, that family is only earning $338.90.

It’s not just concerning the endangered middle class. If a person had $1 million and decided, in 2010, to keep it in a Haitian bank, thus in gourdes, today they would find that money down to $675,000.

These declining earnings are the effect of a declining exchange rate over the past 20 years from 17 to 59 HTG for a U.S. dollar; officially listed globally at 56.65 to 1 USD.

Important to note, this loss of 70% of a family’s income over the two decades does not take into account the steep rise in the price of commodities over that time. Commodities which have raised the consumer price index across the board, making it more expensive for food and energy.

Many can plot the start of the decline to 1995, with the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power and the implementation of economic policies imposed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The most precipitous decline in value has taken place during the term of President Michel Martelly. He came into office with the exchange rate at 40 HTG to 1 USD and will be leaving with the rate above 60 HTG.

Patrick Alexis provided this research:

20,000 HTG earning over the years
Year (Nov 23) Earning (HTG) Rate (1/USD) Earning (USD)
1995 20,000 17.50 $1,142.85
2000 20,000 23.75 $842.10
2005 20,000 43.05 $464.57
2010 20,000 40.15 $498.13
2015 20,000 56.65 $353.05
Today 20,000 59.00 $338.90
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About The Author

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.