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Weak Canadian dollar not so bad for domestic retailers, tourism: economists

A Canadian dollar, or loonie, sits on top of its American counterpart in Toronto on Sept. 20, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
January 16, 2014 - 10:27 AM

VANCOUVER - Canada's top economists say they expect the Canadian dollar to remain weak and perhaps reach as low as 90 cents US by the end of the year, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The loonie declined 6.6 per cent last year and has dropped another three per cent in just the first two weeks of 2014.

On Thursday, an expert panel told a Vancouver Board of Trade forum that a devalued loonie could mean less foreign investment and lower commodity prices.

But they also say it could lead to a stronger U.S. and global economy, which could benefit Canada's export industries, domestic retailers, and tourism.

The panel says much of Canada's economic prospects depend on getting Alberta oil to market, and the sooner British Columbia can finalize projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline, the better.

The economists say demand for clean energy is high, so they expect the liquefied natural gas projects touted by B.C. Premier Christy Clark will go ahead, but they also warn against being too optimistic about gas prices due to competition from the U.S. and Australia.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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