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Canadians should plan for higher rates in the long run: Bank of Canada



In a notable address in Vancouver, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Rogers has issued a cautionary message to Canadians, suggesting that the era of historically low-interest rates experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic may be coming to an end. In her speech, Rogers outlined the factors contributing to a potential long-term shift towards higher interest rates, emphasizing the significance of structural changes in the global economy, elevated government debt levels, and geopolitical uncertainties.


Rogers asserted that these structural shifts are steering the world toward a new normal, where higher interest rates become a more entrenched feature of the financial landscape. The prepared remarks highlight the ongoing adaptation to this reality, underscoring the limited "wiggle room" for the global financial system to absorb shocks if they were to occur.


According to Rogers, the adjustment to higher interest rates is already underway, prompting a reevaluation of financial strategies across various sectors. This shift, she notes, is a significant departure from the familiar landscape of the past 15 years, characterized by consistently low-interest rates. However, Rogers advocates for a gradual and proactive adaptation to mitigate the risks of destabilizing the financial system.


Crucially, the senior deputy governor emphasized that everyone, from governments and businesses to households, must prepare for the long-term impact of higher interest rates. This preparation involves adjusting financial practices to align with the evolving economic landscape, a process that is already evident in current data.


Rogers pointed out that Canadians are actively responding to the changing interest rate environment by adjusting their spending habits and moderating their demand for credit. This proactive response is viewed as a positive sign that, if implemented gradually, can help minimize the potential disruptive effects on the financial system.


While acknowledging that adjusting to higher interest rates will pose challenges, Rogers stressed the importance of embracing this change to ensure the stability of the financial system over the long term. She urged stakeholders to view the shift as an opportunity for prudent financial management rather than an imminent threat.


In conclusion, the Bank of Canada's warning serves as a call to action for Canadians to reevaluate their financial strategies in anticipation of a sustained period of higher interest rates. As the world undergoes transformative economic shifts, individuals, businesses, and governments alike are encouraged to navigate this new landscape with resilience and foresight, minimizing risks and ensuring the continued stability of the financial system.


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