# Big Mac Index

The Big Mac Index is an informal, yet widely recognized measure of the purchasing power parity (PPP) between two currencies.

Created by The Economist in 1986, it is based on the idea that the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac burger should be roughly the same in different countries when considering exchange rates.

By comparing the price of a Big Mac in different countries and adjusting for exchange rates, the index offers a glimpse into whether a currency is overvalued or undervalued relative to the US dollar.

The index provides a fun and easy-to-understand way to assess the relative value of currencies and the cost of living in various countries.

## What is the Big Mac Index?

The Big Mac Index was initially developed as a light-hearted attempt to simplify the concept of PPP, which postulates that exchange rates should adjust so that identical goods and services cost the same across countries.

The theory behind the Big Mac Index is that if exchange rates were in equilibrium, then the price of a Big Mac would be the same in any two countries. However, in reality, exchange rates are often not in equilibrium, and the price of a Big Mac can vary significantly from country to country.

• If the exchange rate PPP is higher than the actual exchange rate, then the currency is said to be undervalued. This means that the currency is not providing a fair return for its purchasing power.
• If the exchange rate PPP is lower than the actual exchange rate, then the currency is said to be overvalued. This means that the currency is providing a higher return than its purchasing power.

Keep in mind that the Big Mac Index is not a perfect measure of PPP, as it does not take into account factors such as differences in labor costs, taxes, and transportation costs. However, it still offers a useful starting point for understanding exchange rates and currency valuation

## How to Read the Big Mac Index

The Big Mac Index report compares the price of a Big Mac in various countries, expressed in their local currency and in US dollars.

To interpret the index:

1. Find the local price of a Big Mac in a specific country.
2. Convert the local price to US dollars using the current exchange rate.
3. Compare the converted price to the price of a Big Mac in the United States.
4. If the price in US dollars is higher than the price in the United States, the local currency is considered overvalued. If it’s lower, the currency is considered undervalued.

## Why is the Big Mac Index important?

While the Big Mac Index is an informal and simplified measure, it provides valuable insights into the world of currency valuation and purchasing power.

It allows for a quick comparison of the cost of living between countries and can serve as a useful starting point for a deeper analysis of currency markets and economic conditions.

## Who publishes the Big Mac Index?

The Big Mac Index is published annually by The Economist.

The magazine updates the index with new data on Big Mac prices and exchange rates to provide a current snapshot of currency valuation and purchasing power across the globe.

The Big Mac Index is available for free on The Economist’s website, where you can access the most recent data, as well as historical information and interactive tools to explore the index further.

The website also offers a downloadable version of the data for those who wish to conduct their own analysis.