November 29, 2008

Drop in Canadian dollar good for business

The rapid fall of the Canadian dollar has restored business along the border to its normal condition with U.S. residents heading north for bargains.

A year ago, the Canadian dollar -- sometimes called the loonie because of the bird's picture on the $1 coin -- was at par with the U.S. dollar. That had Canadians driving to stores in the United States to save money on big-ticket items like televisions and furniture.

The decline of Canadian currency, with its dollar now worth about 80 cents U.S., may be a blow to national pride, but it has been good for Canadian businesses.

Without question, we've been seeing more favorable things from the visiting public in the U.S., said Gordon Orr, head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Windsor, Essex County and Pelee Island, told The Detroit Free Press. It's positive to see for a change one of our biggest challenges -- the exchange rate -- move in a way that helps us.

Oil prices, which rocketed to a high of $147 a barrel in July before coming back down, are behind the Canadian dollar's rise and fall, the Free Press said.