The Bank of Canada has raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point for the fifth time since last summer, pushing up the cost of borrowing for Canadians.
The bank’s rate is now set at 1.75 per cent. That’s the highest it’s been in almost a decade, dating back to December 2008.
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Known as the target for the overnight rate, the benchmark is what Canada’s big banks charge each other for short-term loans. It filters down to consumers, because it affects the rates the banks offer their customers for things like variable rate mortgages and savings accounts.
Canada’s central bank kept its interest rate at record lows for several years to stimulate the economy following the economic slowdown of 2008, but has since begun to ratchet it higher as the economy gets back on sounder footing.