The Loonie Is Going To Get Worse Before It Gets Better

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The loonie may have seen stronger growth than any other currency among G10 countries so far this year.

But the good times won't last, if a report by CIBC Economics is any indication.

The bank issued a forecast Friday showing that the loonie could drop to as low as $0.73 against the U.S. greenback by September, before its value improves by sometime early next year.


The dollar had been a source of concern for Canadians in January, when its value fell to a low of approximately $0.68 against the U.S. currency.

Analysts later observed a "Revenant"-like comeback that saw its value climb as high as $0.79 in early May, thanks to factors such as better-than-expected economic performance and higher global oil prices.

Its growth was stronger than the currencies in countries such as Norway, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K.

But its value has since dropped again, closing at about $0.766 on Friday, and it could fall even lower as the economy is expected to contract in the second quarter.

fort mcmurray wildfire fire

The reason, the bank says, is the wildfire that has ravaged Fort McMurray and ground oilsands production to a crawl.

The fire has resulted in the loss of approximately $1 billion worth of oilsands production.

That equals approximately 0.33 per cent of Alberta's GDP in 2016, and 0.06 per cent of Canada's GDP, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

cibc tower

But Canada isn't expected to feel economic pain for long.

The federal Liberal government's stimulus package will likely boost Canada's GDP sometime this year.

That, and higher oil prices could push the dollar as high as $0.775 in the first quarter of 2017.

canadian dollar

While a low loonie can benefit sectors such as manufacturing and tourism, it's also keeping Canadians from planning summer vacations in other countries.

A survey by Tangerine bank has found that only nine per cent of Canadians plan to vacation in the U.S. this summer, while only eight per cent expect to travel elsewhere.

Two-thirds of people surveyed blamed the loonie for limiting their travel plans.

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