The level of and movements in interest rates and the exchange rate can have a substantial impact on the economic performance of Australia's primary industries. Whether a country and/or exchange risk premium has resulted in higher interest rates and increased volatility in the exchange rate is therefore important to these industries. There is some evidence that a small country risk premium may have emerged during the early 1990s. In line with earlier studies, however, no evidence was found of such a premium during the 1980s. A further finding is that any exchange risk premium may have declined over the last decade or so. Possible links between risk premia and Australia's foreign debt and current account deficits are also examined.


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