Economists say the Canadian dollar is at a ‘sweet-spot’ after hitting a three-year-high yesterday, reaching a point where it benefits consumers but doesn’t hurt businesses too much. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Economists say the Canadian dollar is at a ‘sweet-spot’ after hitting a three-year-high yesterday, reaching a point where it benefits consumers but doesn’t hurt businesses too much. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Rising loonie hits ‘sweet spot,’ likely to climb further: economists

The loonie traded for 81.34 cents US Thursday, the highest level since February 2018. It’s been above 80 cents US since last week.

Economists say the Canadian dollar is at a ‘sweet spot’ after rising for seven straight days to top 81 cents US, a point where it benefits consumers but doesn’t hurt businesses too much.

The loonie traded for 81.34 cents US Thursday, the highest level since February 2018. It’s been above 80 cents US since last week.

Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist with SIA Wealth Management, said it is important to remember that the Canadian and U.S. dollars were at parity only a decade ago, so businesses won’t be hurting too hard just yet.

“It’s not a huge negative for business yet. In and around the high 70s and low 80s has historically been a sweet spot for the dollar,” said Cieszynski.

“Canadian businesses get to benefit on the dollar, but consumers aren’t getting crushed on the exchange rate.”

He pointed out that Canadians still buy a lot of products imported through from the United States, even with current pandemic-related border restrictions in place.

Analysts nonetheless pointed out that COVID-19 is disrupting some of the usual consumer trends around a strengthening loonie, such as its effect on cross-border shopping and tourism.

With the increased use of e-commerce in the retail sector, BMO Financial Group chief economist Douglas Porter said Canadians may more often look to U.S companies when shopping online.

Porter said he believes the strength of Canadian commodities like lumber could continue to drive up the loonie.

“There’s a lot of things that are driving the currency, but probably Number 1 is just the widespread strength we’re seeing in commodity markets,” said Porter, saying high wheat and copper prices have contributed to the strengthening dollar.

“All kinds of things that Canada exports are at record highs or at multi-year highs.”

He said the current exchange rate may not yet represent the full strength of the Canadian economy, meaning it could have further to go in the short term.

Alan Arcand, chief economist with the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, said the short-term effect on manufacturers is ambiguous because they both import and export goods as part of their process.

But there could be impacts on manufacturers from a higher loonie down the road.

“The negative impact is generally gradual and long-term, said Arcand.

“It’s not really going to affect near-term production decisions, it’s more like it affects long-term investment decisions,” he said, playing a role in decisions about where it’s cheaper for businesses to invest.

Both Arcand and Cieszynski shared the view that the current economic climate favours short-term rises in the loonie.

Cieszynski said Canada’s natural resource industry will continue to benefit as the world looks to re-open thanks to ongoing vaccination efforts.

“The most important thing is the crisis stage of COVID appears to be ending and the focus is turning more towards opening and recovering, and that helps the loonie,” said Cieszynski.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

economy

Just Posted

Storm clouds gathered in Mulhurst, Alta., just before noon June 15, 2021. Photo/ Dan Moster.
Areas of County of Wetaskiwin remain under severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for areas of the County.

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Manluk Centre/ Impress
Manluk Centre re-opens to the public

Drop in and registered programs will be available; one-third facility capacity to be followed.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are looking for male responsible for an armed robbery at Super Car and RV Wash in Leduc.

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read