US export competitiveness was meanwhile improving, as prices and wages in the USA rose more slowly than in Europe. Meanwhile, during the second and third quarters of 1961, gold losses by the USA had come to a virtual stop. Contributing to an improvement in the dollar's position from late spring 1961 was the emerging US business recovery. At the other end of the mark–dollar axis, the underlying gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Federal Republic had continued to increase through the second quarter. Gold had also become subject to demand as a 'dollar hedge' – an alternative as such to the Swiss franc and Deutsche Mark. German delegates to the conference resisted pressures for a revaluation of the Deutsche Mark by pointing to the need for the Federal Republic to run a current account surplus to finance long-term capital exports.