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Loonie putting in a strong rally in the final days of 2017

The Canadian dollar rose to nearly 80 cents compared to the U.S. dollar on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.
The Canadian dollar rose to nearly 80 cents compared to the U.S. dollar on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017. The Bellingham Herald file

With oil prices on the rise, the Canadian currency is putting together a nice holiday rally.

The Canadian dollar rose to nearly 80 cents compared to the U.S. dollar on Thursday, according to data from the Bank of Canada. Closing Thursday at 79.5 cents, it’s the highest level for the loonie since mid-October.

The Canadian currency generally responds to the fluctuations of oil prices, which have been trending upward lately. On Thursday U.S. crude prices were hovering around $60 a barrel.

The rise and decline of the Canadian dollar has an impact on Whatcom County retailers, who tend to see more Canadian shoppers when the loonie rises above 85 cents.

With the loonie hovering between 77-82 cents since September, there’s been an uptick in the number of people traveling into Whatcom County from the border.

According to data collected by the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University, nearly 3.1 million people have crossed the five southbound border crossings into Whatcom County in September, October and November. That’s a 3.2 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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