In unfortunate economic news, the Canadian dollar keeps slipping and is now a the lowest point it's been at in almost five months. Currently, it's trading with the USD for only $0.753200. To put that in simpler terms, the US dollar is worth $1.32 for every Canadian dollar.
The Canadian dollar has been trending downward for pretty much the entire year. But these latest slips are even more concerning because it's right in the peak of the holiday shopping season.
If you usually shop online or cross the border to get your Christmas presents at American retailers, you're going to change your game plan this year. Since the dollar is doing so terribly right now, you would lose quite a bit of money on the US dollar exchange if you shopped in the US.
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For example, if you bought something online that was $25 USD, it would actually end up costing you over $33 CAD. That doesn't seem like a huge margin but it gets worse as you go up. If you bought something that was $1000 USD it would cost you a whopping $1329 CAD. That's also before Canadian taxes and customs are applied to it.
Since the new trade deal between Canada, Mexico, and the US hasn't been officially enacted yet, Canadians still have to pay duty, or Canadian taxes, on any product being shipped over the border that costs more than $20. That means your American purchase is going to be even more expensive.
For example, if you bought $100 USD worth of makeup from a US retailer online, not only would it cost you $132 CAD but then you'd also have to pay around $17 worth of duty taxes on it. That brings your total up to $149 which is a 50% increase from what the listed price was. With these numbers, shopping in the US simply doesn't seem worth it.
While the holiday shopping season is impacted by the low dollar, it's got even more concerning consequences in Canada. The Canadian dollar is especially low right now because of trade uncertainty with global partners like the US. The current low price of Canadian oil is also causing the dollar to take a dive.
The highest the Canadian dollar has been all year was in February when it was around $0.81 for every US dollar. The last time the Canadian dollar was worth more than the USD was way back in January and February of 2013.
Source: The Globe and Mail