Border expert: Falling Canadian dollar bears watching

Jun 24, 2013

The Canadian dollar is dropping in value. At the close of currency trading Monday, the Canadian dollar hit its lowest point in nearly two years in comparison to the U.S. dollar. And if the trend continues, it'll be cause for concern in border states.

The Canadian dollar is affectionately known as the "loonie." Less than two months ago, it was at parity with the greenback. Now it's worth around 95 cents U.S.

This is actually good news for Canadian exporters because their products become cheaper for American buyers. It's a more worrisome development for retailers and hospitality companies on this side of the border,

"I think up to about five cents (depreciation) really doesn't make much difference. But I think if it gets much beyond that, then we might start to see some reduction in volumes of Canadian shoppers coming across the border,” said Don Alper, who directs the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University.

Alper says he has not seen any effect on cross border travel yet, an observation confirmed by traffic counts from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. According to analysts, the U.S. dollar is strengthening against other currencies based primarily on signs our economy is finding solid footing.