Increased demand for a currency is due to either an increased transaction demand for money, or an increased speculative demand for money. The transaction demand for money is highly correlated to the country's level of business activity, gross domestic product (GDP), and employment levels. The more people there are out of work, the less the public as a whole will spend on goods and services.

The average daily trade in the global forex markets currently around US$ 1.9 trillion. Retail traders (individuals) are a small fraction of this market and may only participate indirectly through brokers or banks.