Sinking Canadian dollar: Quebec's winners and losers
Consumers will feel pinch, especially at grocery store, but film, tourism industries stand to benefit
The Canadian loonie fell below the 70-cent U.S. mark this week for the first time in more than a decade, and some analysts predict it could drop another 10 cents in the coming year.
The slumping dollar is leaving behind a host of winners and losers across the province.
- TIMELINE: What the world looked like the last time the loonie was this low
- Canadian dollar will drop to 59 cents US in 2016, analyst predicts
Here's a look at how the low dollar could affect you:
Winner: Tourism industry
"There's a direct correlation with the foreign exchange," Yves Lalumière, the president and CEO of Tourism Montréal, told CBC last year.
The Conference Board of Canada says overnight travel from the U.S. increased about seven per cent last year and is expected to rise another 3.3 per cent this year.
Quebecers are paying more for a bag of groceries these days, and the prices are expected to go up.
"It's crazy. It's 30 years I'm in the business. I've never seen prices like that," Javed Iqbal Sheik, the owner of Fruiterie Mile-End in Montreal said in December.
The University of Guelph's Food Institute estimates the average Canadian household spent an additional $325 on food in 2015 and is expected see an additional increase of about $345 this year because of the low dollar.
Winner: The film industry
Peter Leitch, president of North Shore Studios and chairman of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C., says American studios are increasingly heading to Canada to take advantage of the low dollar.
"That does make Canada one of the top choices of places to come to," said Leitch. "A few years ago when it was at par, it was quite a challenge to attract business."
Evan Rachkovsky, director of research and communications at the Canadian Snowbird Association, says so far members don't seem to be cutting down on the duration of their visits to the U.S., but they will likely be spending less on everything from meals to rounds of golf.
"What I would say is happening is a reduction in discretionary spending," said Rachkovsky.
"If you want to be an optimist, you lean on the one side that it will help boost exports," said David Watt, chief economist at HSBC Bank of Canada.
"I tend to lean more to the second side: that it reflects a degree of concern about the global economy."
Loser: The Habs
When the dollar was last in a slump and hitting sports teams in the late 1990s, Ronald Corey, then-president of the Habs, offered the following to a parliamentary subcommittee: "It costs us $300,000 extra whenever the Canadian dollar loses one cent."
Of course, the Canadiens are the NHL's second-richest team, valued at $1.175 billion U.S., according to Forbes, so the club won't be struggling to pay the bills.
with files from The Canadian Press