As the Canadian dollar’s value continues to fall (being worth 71 U.S. cents as of Jan. 29), Canadians are feeling the pressure of their struggling economic situation.
The direct implications of a weak economy are fairly evident for those who regularly engage in business at a professional level. Even for consumers who regularly shop in the U.S., buy imported products, or otherwise have to engage with foreign markets in their shopping, the state of the Canadian dollar has had a significant impact on their daily lives.
However, if somebody does not work in the world of business, does not have an interest in banking or finance, and does not regularly travel across the border, it can be harder to understand how Canada’s financial situation can impact them. However, no matter how uninvolved someone is in economics or foreign affairs, the economic state of the country can have a major impact on the daily lives of more or less everyone who lives in that country.
One of the most common concerns for everyday people in the wake of Canada’s weak dollar is the price of groceries. Fruits and vegetables in particular are often imported to Canada, so the low value of the Canadian dollar can severely impact their price. CBC reports that fruits and vegetables increased between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent in cost last year, and are projected to continue increasing by up to 4.5 per cent over inflation this year. This increased cost means that the state of the Loonie is directly tied to the ability for Canadians to afford essential groceries.
These issues extend to the overall cost of living, and Canadian cities are often becoming more expensive in general. CTV reports that Vancouver has just been ranked the third most unaffordable housing market in the world, and also the least affordable one in North America.
Even if someone does not interact much with the business or economic world, an awareness of their country’s economic situation is still important in indicating the everyday costs that concern most residents, including housing costs and groceries.