New Brunswickers still shop in U.S. even as loonie drops
Canadian dollar hits five year low, could sink further
The Canadian dollar dropped to a five-year low on Thursday, but New Brunswickers are still heading to the United States looking for bargains.
The IGA grocery store in Calais, Maine, has plenty of vehicles sporting New Brunswick licence plates in its parking lot, even as deals are getting a little tougher to find.
"You have to watch what you buy, and look at all the flyers and the bargains and so on," said Richard Smith, a Canadian doing his shopping south of the border.
The loonie closed at 89.21 cents US on Friday, and has dropped four cents since the beginning of the year. Some Canadian bank economists say they believe it will sink as low as 85 cents before the end of the year.
At Johnson’s True Value Hardware in Calais, owner David Johnson has just revoked a four-year-old policy to accept Canadian money dollar-for-dollar.
"The dollar had slipped to an uncomfortable low level that we couldn't recoup the difference," he said.
Still, Canadian shoppers like Mark Chase say certain things are always cheaper state-side.
"Well your dairy products are half price anyway," he said. "Gas is about 25 cents cheaper, so you can't go wrong."
He said the loonie would have to drop drastically for him to consider doing all his shopping in Canada.