10 Signs the Economy Is Improving

The Weak Dollar

The U.S. dollar hasn't been this weak in decades. That means that a U.S. dollar is worth less compared to other currencies. In 2002, the cost of one Euro was about 86 cents -- representing a strong dollar [source: Weiner]. Today, that Euro will cost roughly $1.37 [source: Zhou]. In practical terms, that means that things in Europe (or made there) are more expensive for Americans, while American goods are cheaper for Europeans.

A weak dollar has a lot of economic effects, not all of them good. In fact, if you want to start a fight among a group of economists, ask them if a weak dollar is good or bad for the economy.

That said, we're looking for positive signs, and one of the beneficial things about a weak dollar is that it helps American manufacturers. When their products become less expensive for the rest of the world, they can export more goods, boosting sales and their overall bottom line. The influx of foreign money can help fuel economic recovery.