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The second point is that an exchange rate is the price of a currency in terms of one or more currencies. Thus, this variable is affected by domestic 30 2: Exchange Rate Forecasting as an Input in the Decision-making Process INTRODUCTION Some economists claim (perhaps justifiably) that, in theory, it is difficult or even impossible to forecast exchange rates. In practice, the track record of exchange rate forecasters has not been so spectacular and perhaps even appalling. Why then do we need and want formal exchange rate forecasting?

When currency y is bought at time t and held until time t + n the amount will not be held as idle (that is, as non-interestbearing cash). Rather, it will be held as a deposit (or another short-term asset) earning the nominal interest rate iy. The opportunity cost of holding currency y is the interest lost on holding currency x. If the position in y is financed by borrowing currency x, then there is an actual cost in the form of the interest paid to borrow currency x. If the interest rate factor is taken into account, the decision will not be taken unless currency y is expected to appreciate by more than the interest rate differential (the interest rate on currency x minus the interest rate on currency y).

The third step is model estimation, which includes the specification, estimation and validation of the model. Several factors affect the choice of the model including, perhaps, the acceptance of the model by the decision maker (the manager) who may not be technically sophisticated. In fact, it should be the case that the forecaster is thought of as an adviser to the manager rather than someone who monitors an automatic decision-making device. This is why the acceptance of the model by the manager may be a factor playing a role in determining the chosen model.

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