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.
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.
That's already happening, as four of Canada's biggest banks increased their own prime rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday.
Royal Bank, TD, BMO and CIBC have all raised their prime lending rates from 3.70 to 3.95 per cent. Scotiabank is expected to follow suit soon, but all the new prime rates will be in effect as of Thursday morning.
PEI Business Federation reacts on CBC Compass. Small business working capital loans and lines of credit will be impacted as well as variable mortgages. More increases expected in December.
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