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Top 10 Worst Performing Currencies against Dollar in 2023 — Naira is 3rd Globally

The United States dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency. This means central banks and financial institutions worldwide hold significant amounts of dollars as a safe asset and for international transactions.

Although the US dollar is not the most valuable currency globally, its widespread adoption and demand bolster its stability and value.

The strength of most currencies across the world is judged by how many units of the currency are needed to buy one unit of the US dollar.

Due to different financial factors, some currencies in 2023 suffered a massive drop in their exchange rate against the US Dollar.

Below are the worst-performing currencies against the US dollar in 2023, according to a report compiled by Bloomberg:

Note: The percentage indicated in front of the currencies below is the rate of the decline against the USD.

1. Lebanese Pound – 89.9%

The pound, or lira, is Lebanon’s official currency. Lebanon is located in the Levant region of the Eastern Mediterranean. The country has a population of over five million people.

The Lebanese Pound is a currency that has unfortunately gained notoriety for its significant decline in value in recent years.

As of January 3rd, 2024, the official exchange rate is pegged at 15,000 LBP to 1 USD. However, the black market rate is significantly higher, exceeding 80,000 LBP to 1 USD.

It hit a historic low of 100,000 LBP to 1 USD in March 2023.

This dramatic decline has severely impacted the Lebanese economy and the lives of its citizens, leading to hyperinflation, poverty, and social unrest.

2. Argentine Peso – 78.1%

The peso is Argentina’s official currency. Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country in the southern half of South America.

It covers an area of 2,780,400 km², making it the second-largest country in South America after Brazil, the fourth-largest country in the Americas, and the eighth-largest country in the world.

Similar to the Lebanese Pound, the Argentine Peso has faced substantial devaluation in recent years.

As of January 3, 2024, the official exchange rate sits at around 800 ARS to 1 USD. However, the unofficial, “blue” market rate is closer to 1000 ARS to 1 USD.

This devaluation has led to high inflation and economic instability, significantly impacting the lives of Argentines.

3. Nigerian Naira – 55%

The Nigerian naira (?) is the official currency of Nigeria. Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth and the largest economy in Africa.

Despite the promising economic evaluation of the nation, its currency has suffered a significant blow against the US dollar.

As of January 3, 2024, the official exchange rate sits at N883.95 per 1 USD, while the parallel market exchanges at N1,210/$.

Its dwindling fall became massive when the new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, announced a unification of the exchange rate a few weeks after his inauguration.

4. Angolan Kwanza – 39.2%

The kwanza (AOA) is the official currency of Angola. Angola is a country located in the Southern part of the African continent.

It has a varied terrain that encompasses tropical Atlantic beaches, a labyrinthine system of rivers and Sub-Saharan desert that extends across the border into Namibia.

Its currency, the kwanza was introduced in 1977, replacing the escudo at par. The name “kwanza” is derived from the Kwanza River, which flows through Angola. The kwanza has been devalued several times over the years, most recently in 2022.

As of January 3, 2024, the official rate sits at 837.29 per 1 USD.

5. Malawian Kwacha – 39.1%

6. Turkish lira – 36.7%

7. Zambian Kwacha – 29.5%

8. Burundi Franc – 27.6%

9. Congolese Franc – 24%

10. Kenyan Shilling – 20.9%

Summary of the World’s Worst Performing Currencies in 2023

Rank Currency/Country Rate of decline (%)
1. Lebanese Pound/Lebanon 89.9
2. Argentine Peso/Argentina 78.1
3. Nigerian Naira/Nigeria 55
4. Angolan Kwanza/Angola 39.2
5. Malawian Kwacha/Malawi 39.1
6. Turkish lira/Turkey 36.7
7. Zambian Kwacha/Zambia 29.5
8. Burundi Franc/Burundi 27.6
9. Congolese Franc/Congo 24
10. Kenyan Shilling/Kenya 20.9
Credit: Bloomberg

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