5 Ways the Canadian Dollar Decline Will Impact Your Wallet

By Brittany Lyte on 15 February 2016 1 comment

The Canadian dollar sank to a 13-year low in January 2016. The culprit? Plummeting oil prices. In the last year alone, the currency affectionately known as the loonie dropped in value by almost 19%. Of course, the American economy can be affected by the state of affairs of its neighbor to the north. Read on for our roundup of reasons why Canada’s weakened dollar will affect your wallet, too.

1. Canadian Ski Trips Are More Appealing Than Ever

If you’ve been itching to ski Whistler or spend time at any other Canadian resort, there’s no better time than the present. It might seem like a long way to travel for snow, but there aren’t many other world class ski resorts that can offer such a big bang for your American buck.

According to Expedia, anyone looking to book a room at Whistler over President’s Day weekend, which kicks off Saturday, Feb. 13, may be out of luck. The travel site, according to an analysis by the news site Vancity Buzz, says hotels in the ski village are 95% booked. Americans traveling a week later, however, could book a room at a hotel such as the Westin Resort & Spa for $600 CAD — that’s just $424 USD at today’s exchange rate.

2. Canadian Shopping Can Help You Save

The American dollar is now worth almost 1.5 times its Canadian counterpart. That means U.S. prices on Canadian goods, such as pure maple syrup and outerwear from the high-end jacket-maker Canada Goose, are looking better than usual — and folks are catching on.

Online shopping in Canada increased 20% during the 2015 holiday season, contributing nearly 10% of all retail sales for the first time ever, according to a survey by MasterCard. From resorts and restaurants to stores and hotels, many Canadian businesses are now advertising their prices in both Canadian and U.S. dollar amounts in an attempt to incentivize Americans to visit and spend money.

3. U.S. Foreign Property Sales May Slump

Canadians are the leading foreign buyers of property in the U.S. But with the weakened loonie stacked against a strong American dollar, it’s likely that Canadians will stall on buying American properties this year — especially since many economists are predicting that the Canadian dollar will continue for quite awhile on the current downward slide.

4. Canadian Seafood Exports Are Cheaper

The decline of the Canadian dollar is also apparent is U.S. restaurants and grocery stores. That’s because Canadian exports of seafood products are on the rise, with the U.S. being Canada’s largest market. Not only is the U.S. market the largest, it’s also growing, pumped up by a mounting desire for bargain fish. Other Canadian industries that produce goods in Canada but sell them in U.S. dollars also stand to benefit, such as the forestry sector.

5. Hollywood Is Flocking to Vancouver

Vancouver is once again becoming a destination for American filmmakers, courtesy of the low Canadian dollar. About two dozen U.S. productions are currently filming in Vancouver, which is affectionately known as Hollywood North. Some of those include the television shows The Flash, Motive, and Once Upon a Time, and movies such as the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon.

Have you noticed any changes in your economy with the collapse of the CAD?

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Lloyd Alter

another impact may be the return of the lumber wars, where american companies complain that cheap Canadian lumber is taking over the market, and will put in tarrifs to keep it out. This will increase the cost of housing. Maple syrup wars are coming too.