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Bank of Canada Raises Interest Rate

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Bank of Canada raises interest rate for 1st time in 7 years to 0.75%

The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate as expected to 0.75 per cent — the central bank's first move upward in the cost of borrowing in seven years.

The bank's target for the overnight rate — at which major financial institutions make one-day loans to each other — moved up by one-quarter of a percentage point from 0.50 per cent.

In a statement accompanying the rate decision, the central bank said the Canadian economy has been robust, fuelled by household spending.

"As a result, a significant amount of economic slack has been absorbed," the bank said, adding that the remaining slack is expected to be gone around the end of this year, which is earlier than the bank anticipated in its April  Monetary Policy Report.

The move means consumers will likely pay more for borrowing such as variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit.

In the wake of the rate hike, the Canadian dollar shot up. The loonie was trading up 0.64 at 78.03 cents US late Wednesday morning.  

The interest rate increase had been widely expected after senior Bank of Canada officials signalled in speeches and interviews over the past weeks that lower rates had done their job, and the Canadian economy was performing well.