Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Canadian dollar is in a “comfortable” range after the currency’s historic three-year depreciation.
After reaching parity with the U.S. dollar three years ago, the currency declined an unprecedented 25 percent, touching a 13-year low at the beginning of the year. It has rallied 11 percent since Jan. 20.
“The Canadian dollar has bounced around a bit,” Trudeau said in an interview in New York with John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News . “There’s a range in which it is comfortable and we tend to be in that now.”
The loonie, as the Canadian dollar is known for the image of aquatic bird on the C$1 coin, rose 0.9 percent to C$1.2976 per U.S. dollar March 17, the strongest level on a closing basis since Oct. 16. One loonie buys 77.07 U.S. cents.
Even with the recent rebound, the highest point of the loonie’s range this year is still about 1 cent lower than the lowest point in the equivalent period last year.
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The Canadian dollar’s depreciation the last year and a half has tracked the collapse in prices for crude oil, until last year Canada’s largest export. Policy makers at the Bank of Canada have said they expect non-commodity exports like manufactured goods to pick up the slack from oil as Canada’s main engine of growth, and a weaker currency is helping by making those goods more competitive abroad.
“Do I feel the dollar’s fluctuation has benefits in some quarters and challenges in other quarters? Absolutely,” Trudeau said, adding politicians should avoid trying to influence the currency and monetary policy. “My job as a politician and a leader is, regardless of where the dollar finds itself, we’re creating an economy resilient and diverse enough to be able to benefit from it.”
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