With the busiest shopping season almost in full swing, Canadian shoppers are ready to pounce on discount deals being offered this Black Friday.

On November 29, the day following American Thanksgiving, nearly half of Canadian consumers (47 percent) are planning to bargain hunt for discounted merchandise and gifts, according to a 2013 Holiday Spending Outlook report from BMO. That's an increase of 15 percent from 2012, notes Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

"Canadian retailers are rising to the challenge of the lure of cross-border shopping, as they look to deal with the Canadian dollar still not far from parity, a significant – although narrowing – gap between Canadian and U.S. retail prices and the more generous duty-free limits. Canadian holiday retail sales receipts, excluding auto and gasoline sales, should increase by roughly 2 per cent, year over year, in the November to December period," adds Porter.

The BMO/Pollara survey shows that an average of $292 will be spent either in stores or online, with shoppers in Atlantic Canada likely to dish out the most nationally at $331.

Canadian retailers are cutting prices deeply to keep shoppers on this side of the border. Canadian Tire, Hudson's Bay and Future Shop, which is opening stores at 6 AM on Friday, all have special promotions and discounts planned.

However, if your heart is set on hopping over to the US, you might want to visit CrossBorderShopping.ca, where you'll find tips, tools, information and deals to help save you money.

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