Anticipation of Bank of Canada rate hike fuelling mortgage increases, high dollar

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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The Bank of Canada has yet to officially start raising interests rates, but already Canadians are starting to feel the impact of higher borrowing costs in the economy.
Analysts say the expectation that the central bank will boost rates June 1 at the earliest and July 20 at the latest has added a boost to the Canadian loonie and pushed the big banks to twice raise longer-term mortgage rates in the last two weeks.
The loonie has been bumping its head against parity in the past two weeks, finally looking like it will stay there.
But many analysts question just how far the Bank of Canada can go on interests rates, particularly since U.S. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is signalling he may stay at virtually zero rates until next year.
CIBC economist Benjamin Tal says Canada's central bank has flown solo on interest rates before, but each time has had to reverse course.
It may not happen this time, but he says the likelihood is that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will soon have to wait for Bernanke and that will limit how fast and far he can move.

Organizations: Bank of Canada, CIBC

Geographic location: Canada

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