Although the Mexican peso suffered its fair share of downturns throughout 2015, it did not make the list of worst performing currencies. Suffering a continual slide and hovering between the 16.00 to 17.00 peso mark ($1 USD buying 17.27 peso as of the New Year) for the latter part of the year, the Mexican peso managed to hold its placement off the worst currency list.
Global reports say the Argentinian peso was the worst performing currency last year with a 34.6 percent loss against the US dollar. The slump is due to the country’s economic suffering from years of mismanagement.
Brazil’s currency also took a plunge against the dollar in 2015 with a 32.9 percent slide. The country is dependent on agriculture and raw material exports. Aside from their high-level corruption of business and political scandals, the collapse in commodity prices hit Brazil’s finances hard.
Last year saw the South African rand drop by 25 percent due to a slump in commodity prices. Mining accounts for nearly half of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. South Africa has a continually growing deficit and unemployment rate of 25 percent. Economists say that inflation is expected to hit 5.6 percent in 2016. The country suffered even further when in December, they had three finance ministers in less than one week.
The Turkish lira lost 20 percent against the dollar last year from a combination of political uncertainty and security issues in neighboring Syria. Turkey was also among the countries hit by the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise rates, increasing the cost of its massive external debt.
Russia also experienced a poor economic year with vital oil reserves collapsing and the economy diving into a deep recession. During 2015, the Russian ruble lost 17 percent against the US dollar. Economic indicators point to a different reality even though President Vladimir Putin says the worst of the crisis is over. Regardless, the ruble is performing better than in 2014 when it lost 41 percent against the dollar.