But the strong euro does not just have positive macroeconomic implications. To begin with the positive things nevertheless: appreciation makes imports from abroad cheaper. The drop in import prices that we are currently witnessing in the euro area is keeping a damper on general consumer price inflation, boosting income purchasing power. The fact that inflation was sitting at under 1% as against the previous year prompted the ECB to cut interest rates again in November 2013. But the other side of the appreciation coin is that it eats away at exporters' competitiveness and, in doing so, poses a particular risk to the progress made in the southern European countries as a result of cost savings. For companies that have set up production facilities abroad, this effect does not materialize. But for these companies, the depreciation of the national currencies in question translates into lower revenues and profits in their euro-based accounts.