Ist der Euro überbewertet?

CAMBRIDGE – Ein amerikanischer Reisender in Paris oder Berlin ist ständig darüber erstaunt, wie hoch die Preise im Vergleich zu denen in den Vereinigten Staaten sind. Ein Hotelzimmer, ein einfaches Mittagessen oder ein Herrenhemd kosten beim aktuellen Wechselkurs mehr als in New York oder Chicago. Um die Kosten für diese Waren und Dienstleistungen auf das Niveau in den USA zu senken, müsste der Euro im Verhältnis zum Dollar um etwa 15 % auf rund 1,10 USD fallen.

Aus dieser Berechnung ließe sich leicht ableiten, dass der Euro überbewertet ist und dass er seine Talfahrt, die im letzten Dezember begann, wahrscheinlich fortsetzen wird. Doch wäre diese Schlussfolgerung falsch. Wahrscheinlicher ist, dass der Euro in Zukunft zurück auf das Niveau von 1,60 USD klettern wird, das er 2008 erreichte.

Es gibt drei Gründe dafür, warum der Eindruck des Reisenden, der Euro sei überbewertet, trügerisch ist. Erstens wurde auf die Preise, die der Reisende sieht, im Allgemeinen die Mehrwertsteuer (MwSt.) aufgeschlagen, die in Europa allgemein üblich ist, in den USA hingegen unbekannt. Zieht man die MwSt. ab, die normalerweise 15 % oder mehr beträgt, so ähneln die Preise in Europa denen in den USA.

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