The window of opportunity should stay open into 2016. Why? It mostly has to do with expectations of higher (U.S.) interest rates, which tend to make a currency stronger. The other side of the coin, of course, is that foreign currencies become weaker.
- Canada and Mexico are good targets close to home for inexpensive travel and goods. Other attractive targets include Japan and the euro currency countries in Europe. The United Kingdom, however, is not as good a deal as other places in Europe.
- The best targets for inexpensive travel and goods include Brazil and Russia, whose currencies are among the weakest. The least attractive markets include China and India, where the currencies are down only modestly from a year ago.
Impact @Work: If you source goods abroad, then your window of opportunity has rarely looked better. Emerging markets offer the greatest potential for inexpensive sourcing, but developed markets from Canada to Japan also represent good opportunities. If you have overseas sales operations, expect a negative impact on earnings that lingers through 2016.
Impact @Home: Add in declining airline and other transportation costs (more here), and the time to consider travel beyond the United States may not be this good for a long time to come. Canada and Mexico should be first options, considering rising safety concerns overseas. Also be sure to look for good buys you can bring home.