Q:

What are some historical trends in the Chilean peso's exchange rate?

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Quick Answer

Upon its introduction in 1975, the Chilean peso was valued at 1,000 escudos, the official Chilean currency it replaced. From 1975 to 1999, the Central Bank of Chile managed the exchange rate through a variety of means, including crawling bands, fixed rates and other mechanisms. In September 1999, the bank shifted to a floating value, which allows the market to determine the value of the peso, as is the case with the U.S. dollar and other major currencies.

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Full Answer

From 1975 to 1979, the Central Bank of Chile allowed the value to float within a crawling band, which allows the value to fluctuate due to market forces, with the bank constraining that fluctuation around a determined value. From 1979 to 1982, the Chilean peso exchanged at a fixed rate tied to the U.S. dollar before eventually returning to a crawling-band system in 1984 following a period of economic crisis.

Chile has the highest gross domestic product in Latin America, as of 2016, and the general trend since 1999 has been for the value of the peso to increase relative to the dollar. Its value of 732.81 pesos to the dollar on Jan. 15, 2016, was its highest value to date.

Prior to the escudo and the modern Chilean peso, Chile’s official currency was another form of the peso, in circulation between 1817 and 1960. This peso initially traded at a fixed rate to the Spanish real.

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