How Will Weaker Loonie Affect Cross-Border Shopping?


Canadians must be doing less shopping in the U.S. because of their weakening dollar, right? 

Maybe not.

The loonie has dropped to its lowest level in a year and a half.

It's currently 96 cents to the U.S. dollar.

But it's a lot more than the value of the dollar that determines whether Canadians come to the U.S.

We caught up with some Canadian shoppers who crossed the border to shop in the north country.

"The tax is a lot cheaper over here. Our tax in Canada is 18 percent," said John Lucas of Ottawa.

There's merchandise here that Canadian stores simply don't have.

"There's also medications that I get here that I can't get up north," said Caoimhin Barr of Ottawa.

Let's not forget the cost of getting here in the first place.

"Gas, too, is $5.29 U.S. gallon over there, so even the fuel is really saving a lot," said Lucas.

At the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, they see no sign of Canadian traffic lessening because of the lower loonie.

"It's not really a concern at this time. It's something we always want to be aware of and cognizant of," said Lynn Pietroski of the chamber.

So, it's probably going to take more than a few cents either way to change shopping habits.

"It's so close that it really doesn't affect it for me," said Carli Robson of Kingston.

If it doesn't affect local retailers, they're more than fine with that.

Monday, December 5, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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