The economy of a nation is the engine that drives prosperity and creates wealth for that country and its citizens. A nation's utilization of its available resources and manpower has a great influence upon its overall economic prowess. Factors such as governmental structure, access to valuable commodities, size and sophistication of the labor force, and relations with trade partners are all key components of achieving economic stability.
Governmental politics play a crucial role in the resolution of many issues facing a nation. The potential impact upon international markets of U.S. President-elect Trump's economic policies, tensions between Russia and NATO, and Scottish independence from the United Kingdom may be substantial. In addition, the fluctuating market price of commodities, such as crude oil, often has vast implications on the overall economic health of many nations and their currencies.
Economies come in all shapes and sizes, earning designations ranging from superpower to emerging. To place each into the proper context, specific indicators are used to quantify the current economic health of a nation and the extent of its growth. A nation's gross domestic product (GDP) is the most referenced indicator pertaining to economic strength.
The value of the United States dollar (USD), British pound (GBP), Canadian dollar (CAD) and other major global currencies rely upon the domestic economic health of the nation itself. In the event that the sustainability of growth and other basic fundamentals come into question, currency valuations often experience periods of enhanced volatility.