Australia hikes interest rates in potential election shakeup

Australia’s central bank has raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, following the lead of a growing list of Asia-Pacific economies taking action to tame rising inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday raised the benchmark interest rate to 0.35 percent, up from a record low of 0.1 percent.

The first rate hike since late 2010 comes after Australia’s consumer prices surged at the fastest pace in two decades during the first quarter on the back of surging petrol, home building and food costs.

The higher benchmark rate – which reflects the interest banks charge on loans to each other – means millions of Australians will face higher repayments on their home loans.

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