American tourists to Europe have more buying power than usual, which means that the dollar can buy 15 percent more than a year ago. Visitors are spending on everything from wine to handbags. Here are some interesting statistics from The Wall Street Journal on Monday:

“Overall, travelers from the U.S. spent 56% more money in Europe in June than they did during the same period in 2019, according to VAT refund provider Planet. Richemont, which owns Cartier and watchmaker Vacheron Constantin, reported 42% higher sales in Europe in the quarter that ended June 30.”

WSJ

The U.S. dollar’s value relative to the euro is the strongest it has been since 2002, the WSJ reported. The move by the U.S. central bank to boost interest rates has attracted some international investors, distorting currency markets.

The flip side is, of course, that the U.S. has become more expensive to most international visitors, holding back the recovery of tourism spending. The New York Times has a helpful infographic on which currencies are held back the most.

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Tags: currency, europe, news blog